26 Oct 2018
A New South Wales man was today convicted and fined $11,250 for falsely representing that he was authorised or qualified to practise as a dentist and $18,750 for performing restricted dental acts. He was also ordered to pay approximately $19,950 in costs.
Mr Majid Rahebi was convicted in the Local Court of New South Wales after pleading guilty to all charges.
Mr Rahebi’s company MJ Dental Care Pty Ltd was also convicted and fined $11,250 for representing that Mr Rahebi was authorised or qualified to practise as a dentist.
Mr Rahebi was charged on 14 May 2018 by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) with 44 counts of falsely representing that he was a registered dentist and 31 counts of performing a restricted dental act. Mr Rahebi’s business, MJ Dental Care Pty Ltd was also charged with falsely representing that Mr Rahebi was authorised or qualified to practise as a dentist. The charges related to Mr Rahebi’s conduct between 15 November 2017 and 24 February 2018 while working at his business MJ Dental Care Pty Ltd at Guildford West, NSW.
Mr Rahebi has never been registered as a dentist or as any other health practitioner in Australia and holds no formal dental qualifications.
Mr Rahebi operated the business MJ Dental Care Pty Ltd through which he provided dental services under the guise of being a registered dental practitioner. He represented himself to the public and to his patients as being authorised or qualified to practise in the dental profession. He consulted with patients and carried out dental treatment, including restricted dental acts. The restricted dental acts carried out by Mr Rahebi included significant invasive procedures such as root canal treatment, crowns and tooth extractions. Further, Mr Rahebi possessed and administered prescription medications, namely anaesthetics, when he was not authorised to do so.
AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher said that part of AHPRA’s role is to act against people pretending to be qualified to provide regulated health services.
‘This is part of what we do to protect the public. Our staff act quickly when we are alerted that a person is holding out as a registered health practitioner. We also work with our regulatory partners in NSW to coordinate the best response so that the public is protected. This matter is an extreme example of what we sometimes find. To represent that you are a registered dental practitioner, operate a business that supports that lie and carry out restricted dental acts that may endanger the public, is not behaviour that goes unchecked.’
At sentencing, Mr Rahebi was ordered to pay legal costs to AHPRA in addition to the $30,000 fine.
Dental Board of Australia Chair Murray Thomas said this outcome and other recent similar outcomes show that regulators take seriously anyone falsely claiming to be dentists.
‘We are pleased to see strong sentences for anyone holding out as a registered dental practitioner. This outcome demonstrates that AHPRA and the Board will act as soon as concerns are raised with us. The most important thing for us is that the work we do helps to maintain the highest of standards for the dental profession. We strive to maintain public confidence in the expertise and professionalism of dental practitioners.’
Anyone with concerns about whether an individual is registered can check the Register of practitioners maintained by AHPRA or contact AHPRA on 1300 419 495.
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