08/14/2013 06:51 EDT | Updated 10/14/2013 05:12 EDT

Winnipeg doctor who created fake patients to get drugs gets licence back

WINNIPEG - A former chief medical officer for a Winnipeg hospital can practice medicine again.

Dr. Bill Pope, the registrar for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, says Dr. Stephen Coyle pleaded guilty to creating prescriptions for fictitious patient visits, or prescribed without justification medicine to patients, so he could feed his drug habit.

Pope says Coyle faced severe consequences — he couldn't practise medicine for 18 months and he had to pay $40,000 for the cost of the inquiry into his misconduct.

The registrar also says Coyle — who was the chief medical officer for the Misericordia Health Centre — has been rehabilitated and is now working under strict conditions at a medical clinic in the city.

He says Coyle is also paying ongoing costs of treatment and supervision.

Pope also says Coyle has faced guilt and shame over what he did.

"When you’re a well-known physician and things fall apart it’s not easy having this plastered across the media," Pope said.