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Mobile dental provider fined almost A$200,000

Mobile dental service provider Australian Aged Dental Care has been fined almost A$200,000 for unlawfully radiographing thousands of Australian schoolchildren. (Photograph: Freedomz/Shutterstock)
Dental Tribune International

Dental Tribune International

Fri. 17. August 2018


SYDNEY, Australia: In a recent court case, the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA) successfully prosecuted a mobile dental service provider for failing to ensure that staff who radiographed thousands of children were properly licensed to do so. The service provider was fined A$198,000 and ordered to pay the EPA’s legal costs of A$125,000.

The company in question, Australian Aged Dental Care, operates a number of mobile dental clinics, all working under the name of Smiles Onsite. Between 13 August 2013 and 20 March 2015, the company instructed its employees to take dental panoramic tomograms of schoolchildren despite the staff not holding the correct licence to do so under the Radiation Control Act 1990.

In delivering the decision, Magistrate Hugh Donnelly pointed to the fact that the company’s breach of the act was systematic and widespread, with little regard for best practice. “The schools, the parents and the children were all entitled to expect the defendant to conduct its affairs in compliance with the law as it regulates the use of radiation and in particular to abide by the licensing system under the Act,” said Donnelly.

EPA Chief Environmental Regulator Mark Gifford said it was inexcusable that the company had operated in the manner it did. “Licensing is used to safeguard the community and the environment by ensuring that only appropriately trained and qualified people are allowed to use radiation equipment,” he explained.

In his closing, Donnelly noted that the decision handed down to Australian Aged Dental Care reflects the seriousness of the offence and the importance of complying with environmental laws and standards. The company was also ordered to publish a notice outlining the court’s orders in the Daily Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald within 28 days.

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