HIV fears for 10,000 dental patients
UP to 10,000 dental patients in Sydney have been urged to get tested for serious blood-borne diseases after a dentist was found to be breaching hygiene standards.
NSW Health has urged anyone who was treated by dentist Dr James Pok-Yan Ng, who worked in Ramsay St, Haberfield, to get screened.
An investigation conducted in July found evidence of filthy dental equipment and a poor practice environment.
Acting director of Sydney Local Health District's Public Health Unit Dr Zeina Najjar said no patients so far had acquired blood-borne viruses from the practice.
"Precautionary testing for hepatitis B, C, and HIV is recommended for anyone who attended the clinic over the past 35 years, especially those who had invasive procedures," Dr Najjar said.
"This would have involved a needle or other instrument piercing the skin, gums or tooth root, or where bleeding may have occurred, but we recommend any patient of this practice sees their GP."
"The council carries out inspections of dental practices when a complaint is made which raises a possible concern about compliance with our infection control guidelines," said Dental Council of NSW president Dr Shane Fryer.
"Overwhelmingly, the majority of dental practitioners comply with infection control guidelines, procedures and obligations but if anyone has concerns, we urge you to contact the HCCC or the Dental Council."
Dr Pok-Yan Ng has been suspended from practice.