Alberta's New Health Minister Adriana LeGrange Should Audit the Dental Authority HPA Breaches
Whistle-blower Claims College of Dental Surgeons of Alberta is Failing to Respect Patient Rights
By: Michael Y Zuk DDS
One of the most obvious breaches of the HPA is seen in the inconsistent application of the section related to 'refunds'- on page 84 that states:
(i) if, in the opinion of the hearing tribunal, the investigated person's fees for professional services were improper or inappropriate or the professional services that the investigated person provided were improperly rendered or required the complainant to undergo remedial treatment, the hearing tribunal may direct the investigated person to waive, reduce or repay the fee for professional services provided by the investigated person;
Another concern is public member contact information must be provided upon request. The public members are expected to act as watchdogs for the public, but Zuk says they are generally unresponsive to concerns and difficult to reach. If the college appears to be failing to act on a matter of public safety the public members should be able to be contacted and make a point of taking the matter to council, between meetings if necessary. Dr. Zuk says when he was an elected official he noted the dentists on council would sometimes exclude the public member from email discussions and not enforce term limits when they had one that went along with their ideas.
"If the dentists on a health board don't despise the public members the public reps are not doing their jobs. Public members need to listen to patients disappointed by decisions, respect whistle-blowers and not participate in letting Old Boys and lawyers run the show. Follow the money and you will see millions of dollars annually are going to those within the system and not to patients harmed. My calculations find less than 1% of funds being directed to victims of dentistry. It's time for some insiders to be terminated-especially lawyers who have profited from exaggerated disciplinary adventures with little benefit to the public," says Zuk.
After reporting a major warning from the FDA regarding a device cited in numerous lawsuits Zuk says he expected some action in Alberta. Instead there was nothing. No warning to dentists and nothing to the public. According to Zuk, "Even the American Dental Association issued a warning about AGGA as a risky appliance. I know Albertans have been harmed by this so why is it kept a secret? Probably to avoid bad PR which harms the integrity of the profession."
The dentist says dental patients with concerns about the processing of dental complaints by the College of Dental Surgeons of Alberta or the former ADA&C should contact the new Health Minister. He says the backlog of 5-9 years in processing complaints will not be improved with the hiring of people with no background in dentistry. "Dental assistants would streamline the process over ex-police officers that suddenly populated the organization following the installation of an ex-police officer as Complaint Director. It's scary to discover what they consider vetting," says Zuk.
Dr. Zuk runs a website http://www.albertadentalassociationproblems.com with links to various FDA investigations mentioned above. He may be reached for comment directly.