Pharmacist handles prescription medication.

A Calgary pharmacist has been placed on a three-month suspension following a hearing tribunal that found her guilty of unprofessional conduct. 

Shemina Juma was working as a pharmacist with Alberta Health Services when she accessed the health information of numerous patients without authorization. 

The records she accessed included her own and the offences occurred on multiple occasions over the course of a 20-month period. 

An Alberta College of Pharmacy tribunal found that while Juma had misused her authority, there wasn't anything to suggest that she had disclosed the health information of the patients. 

The first month of Juma's suspension will end Feb. 24. The remainder of the suspension will be served following her completion of an ethics course, on her own dime, within the year. 

Juma also received a reprimand, an order that she must disclose the tribunal's written decision to any pharmacy employer for a two-year period, prohibition from being a licensee for two years, and a payment of $10,000 towards the costs of the investigation and hearing. 

The rational for the decision was laid out in a statement put out by the tribunal. 

"She was not a new employee or pharmacist and should have understood that accessing health records without an authorized purpose was not appropriate," read the statement. "This was not an isolated incident of a single lapse in judgment.

"Miss Juma's decision to review the personal information of individuals for purposes unrelated to medical care constitutes a serious violation of privacy. It was a breach of her obligations owed to the public, as well as to the profession, and is conduct that harms the integrity of the pharmacy profession."

Juma admitted that her conduct was unprofessional.