Health care system defrauded of more than $750,000

A Toronto family doctor admitted yesterday to pumping more than 130,000 prescription sedatives into the black market and defrauding Ontario’s health care system of more than $750,000.


Dr. John Kitakufe, in his late 50s and slightly hunched, mumbled the word “guilty” in court yesterday, responding to his lawyer Jenny Stephenson’s nod after Justice Peter Harris asked for his plea.


Kitakufe, a Canadian landed immigrant who was convicted of similar offences in Illinois nearly 20 years ago, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, defrauding the ministry, and conspiracy to traffic in the narcotic-based painkiller OxyContin.


Sometimes described as “synthetic heroine,” OxyContin is a time-release drug often prescribed to cancer patients and others suffering from chronic pain.

Yesterday he admitted using his Finch Avenue West practice in Downsview to provide inventory for operators of a black market in perscription narcotics.

Kitakufe’s OHIP frauds included billings of $193,559 for hundreds of hours spent on phoney medical examinations.

Hundreds of thousands

  • Beginning in 2005, he prescribed 137,537 pills of OxyContin to bogus patients with “no legitimate medical need.” The health ministry paid out $574,814 for the prescriptions, which cost $385 each for 90 pills.