The recent GDC Fitness to Practise hearing concerning a dentist’s purchase and use of counterfeit dental devices has highlighted the dangers to both patient and professional registration from using counterfeit and non-compliant devices. The GDC’s Professional Conduct Committee determined that the dentist’s registration should be suspended for a period of 3 months.
The case also reinforces the need to exercise common sense and care when purchasing dental equipment and to have adequate systems in place to ensure that equipment is genuine, compliant and safe to use.
Edmund Proffitt, BDIA Chief Executive comments, “The recent GDC hearing is a stark reminder of the seriousness of using of counterfeit dental devices. It may also sound alarm bells for any dentists who may have purchased from unreliable sources and emphasises the importance of purchasing from reputable suppliers.”
Details of the outcome GDC hearing can be found here:
In making its judgement the Fitness to Practise Committee said it took into account the wider public interest in the matters in this case. They said: “Your misconduct as found in this case included a serious act of dishonesty, which had the potential to put patients and others at risk. Further, as detailed in the findings of this Committee you did not initially accept that you knew the dental equipment you were purchasing was counterfeit or non-compliant. Taking these factors into account, the Committee decided that a finding of current impairment is required to declare and uphold proper standards of conduct and behaviour in the dental profession and to maintain public confidence in it. The Committee considered that public confidence in the dental profession would be undermined if a finding of impairment were not made in the circumstances of this case.
Announcing the action to be taken they said they were satisfied that a period of suspension would be sufficient and proportionate to the findings made in this case. They continued: “In reaching its decision, the Committee took into account the gravity of your behaviour and it considered that the suspension of your registration would mark the seriousness and importantly send a clear message to the profession that such conduct will not be tolerated. Moreover, it would uphold and maintain public confidence in the dental profession.”
The BDIA’s Counterfeit and Sub-standard Instruments and Devices Initiative (CSIDI), operated in partnership with the MHRA, has worked hard over the last two years to raise the awareness of GDC registrants to the dangers of counterfeit and non-compliant dental devices through its hard-hitting press and information campaign. The BDIA recommends that all purchases, however small, are made from a reputable supplier and that all suspect instruments, and devices are reported to the appropriate authorities at the earliest opportunity.
Devices can be reported at www.bdia.org.uk/device-reporting.html