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Ministry Welcomes Conviction

10 August 2001

Ministry Welcomes Conviction

The Ministry of Health has welcomed the conviction of Hastings man Satnam Singh Dugh who was convicted and fined $2750 for practising as an dentist when not registered, for distributing new medicines without approval, and for supplying prescription medicines when not entitled to do so under the Medicines Act 1981.

Dugh was convicted in the Hastings District Court on Thursday August 9.

The Ministry of Health had laid charges under section 4 of the Dental Act 1988 and sections 18 and 20 of the Medicines Act 1981.

A spokesperson for the Ministry said the Medicines Act 1981 has controls in place to ensure the public are adequately protected from products which have the potential to harm if they do not meet the standards claimed, or if they are used unwisely or inappropriately.

The Dental Act 1988 requires practitioners to be adequately trained and to be registered by the Dental Council of New Zealand.

Although not registered as a dentist, Dugh stated he qualified as a dentist in India over ten years ago.

Upon sentencing, Judge AJ Adeane said that Dugh's previous qualifications in India did not go far in mitigating the offence and that there was a public safety issue at stake. The Judge said that the practice of unregistered dentistry was thoroughly disapproved of.

The Ministry Spokesperson said that the Ministry regards any breach of these Acts as serious and will investigate and prosecute where it can.

A penalty such as this sends a message to others that a breach of the law is simply not tolerated.

For more information contact: Selina Gentry, Media Advisor, ph: 04-496-2483 or 025-277 5411 http://www.moh.govt.nz/media.html

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