Renee Cluff

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Cairns dentist cops big fine for infection control breaches

Fines totalling $150,000 have been dished out to a dentist who breached infection controls at his Smithfield practice.

Around 700 patients had to be tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C when concerns about inadequate sterilisation practices were first raised in 2019.

In the Cairns Magistrates Court yesterday, Dr Kenneth Hossen of Essential Dental for Life was convicted and fined $50,000 after pleading guilty to breaching infection control practices.

His company, Monacove Pty Ltd was fined $100,000 for failing to ensure standard quality control systems were in place.

Dr Don Mackie, Executive Director of Medical Services at Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, said immediate steps were taken to prevent any further risks to the public when investigators uncovered the breaches.

“The outcome of this matter today highlights the extreme nature of the breaches, and the serious public health risks presented to patients by the defendants,” he said.

“This dentist was found to have been using instruments and tools on patients that had not been properly sterilised.

“We take matters of infection control and sterilisation practices very seriously.

“The public should have confidence that all health professionals including dentists are practicing in accordance with the high standards required in all clinical settings."

Dr Hossen has since been deregistered.