UBC rural dental program continues on island

  • May. 7, 2014 12:00 p.m.

The RCMP and University of British Columbia are investigating an alleged multi-million dollar fraud involving the Faculty of Dentistry program that places dentists in the Skidegate and Old Massett Dental Clinics. The investigation centers around possible financial irregularities in the management of the general practice residency training program in the range of $4 million and $5 million, The Globe and Mail reported April 30 (Wed.). Dental service on island was expanded in 2002, according to the faculty’s website, when the residency program began sending postgraduate dentists to provide ongoing care to the community while gaining additional educational experience. “Please be assured that the Faculty will investigate this thoroughly and any affected programs will be restored financially,” dean of dentistry Charles Shuler told The Globe and Mail. “I also want to assure you that we have taken all necessary steps to ensure that the present issue has not affected the faculty’s delivery of patient care and education,” he said. Lauren Brown, Director of Health at the Skidegate Health Centre, was not available for an Observer interview before publishing. She told the Globe and Mail there had been “confusion and disarray” in the clinic over the past few months, causing a lengthy waiting list with some urgent cases. “The band council has concerns about how the clinic has been run and we are frustrated by an ongoing lack of communication and response from UBC,” she said. UBC spokeswoman Lucie McNeill responded saying the school had contacted the Skidegate Clinic in November to tell them they recognized a problem and were making administrative changes. UBC contacted the RCMP in February to report its concerns and is cooperating in the investigation.

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