THERE was 224 reports of drugs stolen or lost from New South Wales hospitals over two-and-a-half years, but only six incidents were reported at northern NSW hospitals.
Drugs stolen or lost from local hospitals in the period from January 2011 to July 2013 included morphine, OxyNorm (oxycodone), midazolam and naloxone.
Richmond Clarence Health Service Group executive director Lynne Weir was asked whether anyone was reported to police over the disappearing drugs.
"Hospitals will often report to the police if there is an obvious theft, as they would with the theft of anything from the hospital," she said. "However, there is no requirement under the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 to make such a report to the police.
"Any loss of a drug is disappointing. However, in many cases human error is the cause of misplaced drugs."
Ms Weir said the relatively positive results for local hospitals were "a credit to the continued efforts of our staff to monitor drugs".
In comparison to the six minor thefts or losses in local hospitals, Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital had 507 units of prescription drugs disappear at once in 2012.
Lismore Base Hospital, March 2012 - 10mg of oxycodone and naloxone
Murwillumbah Hospital, November 2011 - two 5mg/ml midazolam
Mullumbimby Hospital, June 2011 - one morphine 15mg/ml
Byron Bay Hospital, June 2011 - one midazolam
Ballina Hospital, March 2011 - 133ml OxyNorm
Tweed Heads Hospital, March 2011 - one morphine 10mg/ml