A B.C. Supreme Court Justice has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of an unlicensed rogue dentist who authorities say ran an illegal clinic out of a bedroom in a Burnaby home.
Tung Sheng Wu, also known as David Wu, faces sentencing after he was found in contempt of court Monday for breaking a 2003 ban on practising dentistry in B.C.
The judge also granted a new permanent injunction against Wu from practising dentistry, sought by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C.
The college, in a statement issued Monday, said it’s seeking the “stiffest penalty available” – a fine, jail time or both.
But it’s not clear if Wu is still in B.C.
Meanwhile, the college says it is placing ads in Chinese and mainstream media to inform the public of the court’s findings.
Wu is believed to have offered cut-rate prices and attracted Metro Vancouver patients by word-of-mouth, mostly from within the Chinese-Canadian community.
Some may have had the money to get licensed dental care but were not aware of regulations requiring dentists be registered in Canada.
“Regardless of the reasons his clients sought him out, Tung Sheng Wu preyed on his clients and took advantage of them, and in so doing, he put their health at risk,” said college registrar Jerome Marburg in a statement.
A video, obtained by CBC, of a raid by college investigators on the Southwood Street home shows dirty and disorganized conditions, with no apparent source for sterilized water.
Fraser Health has recommended anyone who received dental work from Wu get tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV because improperly sterilized equipment may have been used.
Patients are urged to call 1-855-895-7425 toll-free to arrange testing.
The college has been under pressure to explain what steps it took to ensure Wu didn’t continue to operate after the 2003 court order.
Marburg said the college is conducting an internal investigation to learn more about what was done 10 years ago, but added it’s “unacceptable” that the answers aren’t immediately available.
He said health authorities weren’t notified in 2003 because there was no evidence then of infection control problems.
As for whether high costs for uninsured patients have fostered an underground economy for illicit dentistry, Marburg said complaints are rare but that Wu isn’t likely the only person operating illegally.
He praised the “brave soul” who tipped the college to Wu’s activities earlier this year, sparking the investigation.