HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS - Professional misconduct - Dentists, hygienists and dental technicians

Law360 Canada (December 5, 2022, 9:02 AM EST) -- Appeal by Jinnah from College’s appeal panel’s decision reprimanding her for unprofessional conduct and ordering her to complete philosophy course on ethics and pay hearing tribunal costs and appeal panel costs on grounds that appeal panel committed reversible error. Jinnah was a dentist regulated by the Alberta Dental Association and College (College). Jinnah, after securing the patient’s written agreement to pay interest on outstanding accounts, provided dental services to a patient early in 2014. The patient received a statement from Jinnah’s office dated November 28, 2014. It provided no details. The patient testified she contacted Jinnah’s office several times after she received the November 28, 2014 account asking for details about the bill. The patient, frustrated by her perceived inability to secure the information she requested from Jinnah’s office, wrote the College seeking assistance in resolving this problem. On April 10, 2015, the patient received the final notice and she phoned Jinnah’s office. On April 20, 2015, the patient received in the mail the detailed statement of account Jinnah’s office promised to deliver to her. An April 22, 2015 email was sent to her patient after Jinnah received notice from the College of her patient’s March 9, 2015 letter to the College. It was ill-advised, to say the least. It was not conciliatory in nature, and it needlessly exacerbated a problem that probably would have disappeared if it had never been sent. The email strongly suggested Jinnah had no idea a staff member had spoken with her patient on April 10 and the patient promised to pay the outstanding account on receipt of the detailed statement of services provided. The College issued a notice of hearing, charging Jinnah with unprofessional conduct in relation to her billing and collections practices. The hearing tribunal concluded Jinnah engaged in unprofessional conduct. Jinnah appealed both the hearing tribunal’s merits and sanctions decisions to the council of the College. The appeal panel upheld as reasonable the hearing tribunal’s decision....
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