In 2017, the Commonwealth of Australia passed a law requiring all dentists to file dental malaccusations within six months of filing a malpractice claim.
But while it is legal for dentists and other healthcare professionals to file complaints against each other, the law does not provide a clear framework to protect people against malicious or retaliatory conduct.
In a report released last month, the University of Queensland’s Associate Professor of Dental Medicine, Dr Matthew Smith, found that while most cases of malpractice are resolved in the court system, many people are still waiting for justice.
“There’s no evidence that we’re able to provide any level of protection for people from malpractice,” he said.
“In some circumstances, we do protect some people, but we also don’t have the capacity to provide that level of justice.”
So, the question is, are we going to be able to do that or is there going to have to be some mechanism to address it?
The University of Melbourne’s Professor Andrew Jorgensen said there was an urgent need to strengthen the laws in Australia and the international community. “
We’re not in the business of saying this is something that should be left to the courts, but to say that it needs to be dealt with in some way is not a very good thing,” he explained.
The University of Melbourne’s Professor Andrew Jorgensen said there was an urgent need to strengthen the laws in Australia and the international community.
“This is something I think we need to be thinking about at a global level because it is such an important issue,” he told ABC News Breakfast.
“I think we should be thinking how we can get this in place, in terms of how to get it in place in the states as well.”
Professor Jorgenson said the government could have implemented the legislation in the past.
“You know, we were very well positioned at the time to do it.
We’ve got a long tradition of having a strong and robust national framework, but also we have a very important national policy area to be focusing on, which is preventing malpractice in Australia,” he added.
“So we’ve been very much on the lookout for ways that we can strengthen our national framework.”
A number of international organisations and organisations have come out strongly in favour of making dentists accountable for their patients.
The International Union of Denture and Dentistry, which represents dentists, says the legislation is a critical step in the right direction.
“A number of stakeholders have indicated that they support the law’s application in practice and that it should be a mandatory obligation,” the IUDD’s Chief Executive, Michael Brown, told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“It’s also a way of providing compensation to the victims, who may not have had a right to expect it.”
It’s an opportunity for the state to step in to ensure that those victims of malaccussions receive the compensation that they deserve.
The law in the US is also very strong and provides an avenue for compensation, in particular for those who were harmed by dental malpractices, in relation to their medical bills,” Dr Brown said.