Alberta Dentist's Fight for Reform Exposes Secrecy in the Dental Complaint System

Dental Patients and Dentists Discover Painful Access to Information Restrictions by Dental Authority
By: Michael Y Zuk DDS
M Y Zuk DDS (Retired)
M Y Zuk DDS (Retired)
EDMONTON, Alberta - June 15, 2023 - PRLog -- Dentist whistle-blower Dr. Michael Y Zuk says the game of secrecy being played by the College of Dental Surgeons of Alberta is clearly breaching terms of the Health Professions Act and rights to natural justice. The retired dentist says, "The new Health Minister, Adriane LeGrange, is going to start flossing twice a day when she sees what is going on in the dental complaint system. With the end of pandemic mania and a focus on medical issues it's time for government officials to listen to the screams of patients upset with the dental regulatory system."

Some of the oddities the dentist says need to be discussed with the Health Minister include:
  • Right to access to contact information of public members on dental council as detailed in the Health Professions Act.
  • Acknowledgement of concerns sent to public members. Your chances of a reply are slim.
  • Access to expert reports on a dental complaint are not shared with the patient. This affects the patient's ability to understand what went wrong and hurts arguments if appealing a dismissed complaint.
  • Information on expert witness selection and background of investigators is limited. A person without specialized dental knowledge may be assigned to work up a complaint or even respond to a serious complaint such as a sedation injury with brain damage. In Alberta your complaint has a good chance of being investigated by an ex-police.
  • Authority lawyers may make decisions on a settlement with a dentist without consulting a victim related to their right to a refund. The patient then has no right to appeal the decision, while the dentist does.
  • An appeal of a dismissed complaint (not a tribunal decision) is allowed by a patient but unlike some provinces there is a fee.
  • Bias of expert witnesses and tribunal (jury) members are often difficult to assess due to the limited information provided.
  • Term limits on tribunal committee members have been rarely enforced and requests for information on their compensation and time served are typically ignored.
  • Statistics on processing times, backlogs, prioritization systems, cost of processing compared to patient reimbursement amounts and satisfaction rates of complainants and dentists are not provided.
  • Requests for comparable Alberta complaint cases are ignored.
  • Urgent warnings such as FDA warnings about dental devices or dental products with serious flaws rarely result in a notice to the public or registered dentists.
  • Requests for corporate ties and other conflicts of interest involving dental council members are ignored.

Zuk claims the level of transparency and processing of complaints at the College of Dental Surgeons of Alberta is unacceptable. He says forced division of the dental college and association and allowing the board (college) side to dictate the process without at the same time addressing the flaws has allowed the system to cling to its old ways. The only thing that is no secret is neither patients or dentists are smiling with the state of affairs. Dr. Zuk says he plans to discuss these issues with the Health Minister in the upcoming months. He encourages patients concerned with the information in this story to write the Health Minister who has the power to order an independent review to confirm these claims.

The website has further information on these topics.

Michael Y Zuk DDS

Source:Michael Y Zuk DDS
Tags:Adriana LeGrange, Alberta dentists, Michael Zuk dentist
Location:Edmonton - Alberta - Canada
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