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AHPRA acts on unregistered 'dodgy dentists' operating in Melbourne

24 June, 2015

AHPRA is calling for people who have been treated by unregistered individuals in Melbourne's northern suburbs to come forward, amid concerns about substandard dental care and poor infection control.

On 13 June 2015, AHPRA executed a search warrant at Yaralla Court, Meadow Heights and found evidence indicating that dental treatment had recently been provided on the premises.

Because of significant concerns about poor hygiene, inadequate infection control and substandard care, AHPRA immediately advised Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services.

On 18 June 2015, AHPRA executed two more search warrants at two other premises in Melbourne's northern suburbs – in Bicentennial Crescent, Meadow Heights and Preston Avenue, Roxburgh Park - and is concerned that dental treatment has allegedly been provided by unregistered individuals.

These three search warrants follow – and are separate from – charges AHPRA laid earlier this month against Muhammet Velipasaoglu, for a range of statutory offences including pretending to be a dentist (holding out), using a protected title (dentist), carrying out 'restricted dental acts', that by law, can only be provided by registered dental practitioners, and for possession of schedule 4 drugs.

The case against Velipasaoglu has been listed for a mention hearing on 14 August 2015 in the Magistrates Court at Broadmeadows.

"We are very concerned about the possible health risks for individuals who may have been treated at Yaralla Court, Meadow Heights and about potentially inadequate treatment people may have received," AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher said.

"We are calling for anyone who has received dental treatment from unregistered practitioners in Meadow Heights and Roxburgh Park to come forward, so we can act to protect public safety," Fletcher said.

AHPRA has no record of any registered dental practitioner, who is licensed to provide dental care, in Yaralla Court, Meadow Heights, Bicentennial Crescent, Meadow Heights or Preston Avenue, Roxburgh Park.

"We are asking anyone who has been treated by someone at these locations to come forward with information, as we are concerned that dental treatment has been provided by someone who is not registered and does not have the skills or qualifications to provide dental care in Australia," Fletcher said.

AHPRA is also calling on any registered dental or medical practitioner in Melbourne's northern suburbs who may have provided follow-up care to people who have been treated by unregistered individuals to come forward with information.

"Our focus is on managing risk to patients and protecting patient safety, and we are asking for people with any information that will help us to do this, to come forward," Fletcher said.

AHPRA is working closely with Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to manage these matters in the public interest.

AHPRA is taking regulatory action on behalf of the Dental Board of Australia, under Part 7 of the National Law. This involves gathering evidence to support the possible prosecution of a range of statutory offences.

The Department is managing the possible impact from poor hygiene and inadequate infection control on people who have been treated at these premises.

The Department is appealing to anyone who received dental treatment at Yaralla Court or Bicentennial Crescent in Meadow Heights and Preston Avenue in Roxburgh Park to call the Department on 1800 356 061 between 9am and 5pm. The Department will assess the potential risk of transmission of infection and provide advice to patients and their general practitioners.

To make it easier for former patients, a single help-line will manage the public health issues and receive initial complaints. Expert staff are on hand to answer calls.

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DR Jeremy Rourke | Thursday, June 25, 2015, 5:40 AM
A problem with the AHPRA run system for public safety amongst many others, is that a registered health practitioner does NOT need to practice or advertise using their name as entered on the AHPRA register.