File Number: Den21/511P
Practitioner: Dr Bharath Subramani
Hearing Start Date:
Hearing End Date:
Examination - inadequate/inappropriate (Established)
Treatment - care inadequate/inappropriate (Established)
Proceeded without adequate skill/expertise (Established)
Diagnosis - inadequate (Established)
Communication inadequate/inappropriate (Established)
Informed consent - inadequate (Established)
Records - inadequate/inappropriate (Established)
Fees - excessive/inappropriate
Claiming - inappropriate (Established)
Name Suppression to Practitioner
Interim order for name suppression for the practitioner
No application for permanent suppression made. Name suppression for the practitioner has lapsed
Name Suppression to Complainant and/or Patient and/or client
Interim order for name suppression for the patients named in the Charge
Precis of Decision:
On 1 to 4 February 2022 the Health Practitioner’s Disciplinary Tribunal heard a charge laid by a Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) appointed by the Dental Council of New Zealand against Dr Bharath Raja Subramini, registered dentist formerly of Greymouth (the dentist).
An amended charge to the original charge was filed. The dentist admitted the amended charge and accepted that it amounted to professional misconduct under s.100(1)(a) and s.100(1)(b) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. The parties agreed not to file an agreed statement of facts but that the hearing could proceed based on the briefs of evidence already filed by the PCC.
The charge related to the dentist’s care of 11 patients between October 2017 and October 2018. The charge was particularised by reference to the care provided to each patient and consisted of 252 particulars, sub particulars and sub, sub particulars including 11 particulars that were withdrawn in the amended charge. The full charge is not included in this precis because of its length. It can be found attached as Appendix 1 to the Tribunal’s published decision. However, the alleged failures in the charge are listed below:
- Failure to undertake adequate examination/evaluation;
- Failure to provide adequate standard of care;
- Inappropriate and/or inadequate treatment;
- Undertook unnecessary treatment;
- Treatment failed in unreasonable timeframe;
- Failure to provide adequate treatment plan;
- Failure to practise within his professional knowledge, skills and competence;
- Failure to diagnose;
- Failure to inform patient ;
- Failure to obtain adequate consent;
- Recorded and/or collated notes in confusing manner and out of sequence;
- Failure to document or adequately or correctly document;
- Failure to inform patient about cost of treatment;
- Charged excessive fees;
- Inappropriate ACC claiming;
The dentist was employed by Lumino Garry Rae Dentists in Greymouth in 2014. Lumino opened a further dental practice in Greymouth, Lumino Greymouth Dental Care and from 2 October 2017 the Dentist was the sole dentist in charge there until 15 October 2018.
As a result of receiving advice of some concerns about the dentist’s care of his patients, the clinical advisor of Lumino visited the practice to undertake a review. Following the review the dentist’s contract was terminated. Lumino has covered all remedial costs for the patients who are subjects of the charge.
The Tribunal found the charge established and warranted disciplinary sanction. To see the precise breakdown of the findings for each of the particulars, please refer to the decision, paragraphs 327 to 416 (pages 75 to 93).
While the dentist admitted the charge and had taken rehabilitative steps, the Tribunal remained concerned at the total disregard for the wellbeing of his patients in providing and charging for treatment that was not necessary, and embarking on treatments such as implants that he knew or ought to have known he was not competent to perform. The dentist has demonstrated that he knows what is required when he is under supervision, but once there is no oversight, he ignores the standards expected of a dentist.
The Tribunal ordered:
- Cancellation of registration;
- Fine of $10,000.
- A contribution of 37.5% to the costs incurred amounting to $150,000.
The Tribunal directed publication of the decision and a summary.