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Dental patients potentially exposed to HIV and hepatitis

Shine Lawyers is now investigating the potential legal action that could be brought by people exposed to HIV and hepatitis after an infection control breach occurred in four Sydney dental clinics.

More than 10,000 Sydney dental patients may have been exposed because of poor cleaning and sterilisation techniques at the clinics, located in Surry Hills, Bondi Junction and Campsie.

New South Wales Health confirmed that 12 dentists were under investigation because of breaches alleged to have occurred over a number of years.

Two dentists have already been suspended from practising.

Shine Lawyers Medical Law Expert Bill King said that any patient who is harmed may be entitled to take legal action.

“Patients who have attended the clinics concerned and who have since had a confirmed diagnosis of HIV or hepatitis may be entitled to claim substantial compensation against the clinics concerned for the breaches,” Mr King said.

“If the cause of their disease is shown to be poor infection control by the clinics, the compensation is likely to be substantial due to the serious and life-threatening nature of the conditions involved,” he said.

Mr King said the clinics involved would face serious sanctions should they be found to have breached their duty to patients.

“Clinics and practitioners could face sanctions from regulatory bodies for failing to take appropriate safeguards with patient care, and claims for compensation from affected patients.”

Patients who have visited the clinics concerned should consult their GP to arrange testing for the conditions.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: July 1, 2015.

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