To date, there are more than a hundred complaint already filed against dentist in NSW – with only a few of the dentists, who malpractices got dealt with.
According to the figures, obtained by the Herald show complaints to the Dental Council of NSW have more than triple in three years, but based from the 661 complaints in the past 12 months there are only 14 dentists got disciplined. Only one dentist now unregistered.
Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner, say the council is ineffective in dealing with such malpractice.
markWith figures presented to herald, the Herald found one dentist been proven twice as incompetent, but still manage to work as a dentist. Mark Phung, the dentist found guilty of malpractice sentenced to pay settlements of more than $1.6 million, is currently at large and practicing his profession.
The council claimed that they already referred the case to the Health Care Complaints Commission in 2009, but the Commission did not confirm it.
Head of oral pathology at the University of Sydney, Hans Zoellner says that if there are no proper guidelines to follow, one could only act whim and whims, currently all dentist are relying on that alone. He added that failure must have been the one thing that they are god at.
Zoellner said that there were neither clear standards for dental care nor an effective means to enforce them. There is a possibility of going to 10 dentists and to receive different recommendation from each one. If there are guidelines on care regimes and costs not set nationally, it should be set at a national level.
He believes that the federal government is gutless. They are afraid that the money that they are going to use would end up on nothing.
Dr. Phung, the dentist, proven as incompetent lost two civil cases over treatment dating back to 2002 as he unnecessarily removed all the nerve found on the patient’s teeth. In the first case, the judge establishes the conclusion that the treatment fell below proper, professional standards. In the second case, an expert provided his statement that the treatment was inexcusable for a dentist.
However, that does not stop Dr. Phung from continuing his illegal practices.
One Dental Council spokeswoman said that Councils are not capable of just suspending practitioners upon knowing that the latter deemed as incompetent.
Aside from the case mentioned above, there is another case that was not rightfully treated. The dentist accidentally splits his tooth. After a long investigation, he only got $3550 for all his troubles.