Code of Practice

THE CODE OF PRACTICE

PART I

PREAMBLE

 1. It is the duty of every registered person -

  1. to devote himself to the service of suffering humanity in the field of dentistry;
  2. to practise his profession with conscience, dignity and integrity;
  3. to maintain the utmost respect for human life at all times from the moment of conception till death;
  4. to offer his knowledge, skill and time to any person in need of dental attention without any distinction or discrimination;
  5. to uphold and maintain the dignity and honour of the dental profession.

2. The professional relationship between a registered person and his patient depends on trust and the assumption that the registered person will act in the best interests of his patient.

3. A registered person has a duty to -

  1. encourage, and restore confidence in his patient;
  2. any action which might disturb the confidence of the patient in any registered person or in the dental profession  as a whole;

4. Patients deserve full respect in all facets of their personality (physical, psychological, spiritual, financial, social).  The registered person shall aim at rehabilitating them to their full state of humanhood.

5. Taking into consideration that patients are often embarrassed, ashamed, or fearful, the registered person has a duty -

  1. to show humility, kindness and understanding towards patients;
  2. to do his best to relieve them of hidden fears and apprehensions.

6. Registered persons shall share amongst themselves their knowledge and discoveries.

7. A registered person shall maintain a high standard of professionalism, uphold the honour of the profession and avoid engaging into any conduct or activity which might lower the profession in the esteem of the public.

8. All registered persons have a duty to continue their professional education for the duration of their practising lives in the best interests of their patients.  They must maintain their professional skills so as to provide treatment of the highest standard possible.

PART II

CODE OF PRACTICE FOR THE DENTAL PROFESSION ON STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND DENTAL ETHICS

1.            The registered person shall respect the patient's right to visit the registered person of his choice.

2.            A registered person shall obtain the informed consent of his patient in any case of dental intervention or dental research.

3.            Where in the opinion of the registered person informed consent cannot be obtained from the patient or in the case of a minor, the dental practitioner shall obtain the consent of the next of kin or the legal guardian.

4.            Notwithstanding paragraphs (8) and (9), a registered person shall provide what he considers life saving treatment in emergency even if it is impossible to gain consent.

5.            (1)          Subject to subparagraph (2), a registered person shall not decline to treat a patient in case of an emergency.

                (2)          In any case other than an emergency a registered person may decline to treat a patient for professional or personal reasons;

6.            A registered person shall not, except in the case of an emergency, undertake or continue a treatment in such field which is beyond his competence, experience or means.

7.            (1)          Subject to subparagraph (2), a registered person shall inform his patient correctly about the true nature of his illness.

                (2)          Where the registered person is of the opinion that it would not be in the interest of the patient to disclose to him the nature of his illness, the registered person may inform the next of kin or the legal guardian of the patient of his illness.

8.            In case of absence a registered person has a duty to ensure that his patients will be looked after by other colleagues in consultation with the patient or his next of kin or legal guardian if he is unable to take such decision.

9.            A registered person shall report to the appropriate authorities any sign of violence or assault upon a patient who is a minor.

10.          A registered person shall not delegate to a person other than a registered person, any service or operation which requires the full competence of a registered person.

11.          A registered person shall not expose his patient whether by investigation or treatment to unnecessary risks.

12.          A registered person shall not prescribe or supply drugs of addiction or dependence otherwise than in the course of bona fide treatment.  He shall not prescribe the use of doping and stimulating substances which are detrimental to health, as an artificial means of improving immediate results.

13.          A registered person shall not disclose any information imparted to him by a patient in relation to his treatment except -

                (a)          with the consent of the patient; or

                (b)          where the patient is a minor with the consent of his next of kin or legal guardian; or

                (c)           where the patient had died, with the consent of his next of kin or legal guardian; or

                (d)          when compel by a Court of law or by any body authorized by Law.

14.          A registered person shall not exercise his profession if he is in a state of intoxication due to alcohol or drug abuse.

15.          A medical certificate shall be issued to a patient or in the case of a minor to the responsible party or legal guardian whenever requested.

16.          A medical certificate shall include -

 (a)         the date of examination;

 (b)         the full name and address of the patient;

 (c)          the registered name and address of the registered person; and

 (d)         the signature of the registered person.

17.          (1)          Where a registered person issues a medical certificate or any form of medical report to a person other than a patient (for example for the purposes of an insurance) the registered person shall obtain the written consent of the patient.

                (2)          Subparagraph (1) shall not apply to a Police Form 58 or 58A.

                (3)          A registered person shall write his name in block letters after signing any prescription or document.

18.          A registered person shall not make any statement or declaration or sign a certificate or other document, or induce or permit another person to sign a certificate or document which the registered person knows, or ought to know to be untrue, misleading, or otherwise improper.

19.          A registered person shall not engage in any form of canvassing with the help of touts or otherwise with a view to attracting patients.

20.          (1)          A registered person shall not advertise his professional services.

                (2)          Notwithstanding subparagraph (1), a registered person may -

(a)          notify other registered persons, or his patients of any change of address, dissolution or commencement of his practice:

 (b)         publish in a telephone directory in ordinary characters his -

 (i)           name, qualification(s), the place and country of such qualification(s), his speciality if any, his home address and the address(es) of his surgery; and

 (ii)          telephone number(s)

                (3)          Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit a registered person who is acting in the course of his official duties pertaining to his office or post from giving an interview or publishing an article in the lay media on matters of concern to his office or post.

                (4)          Notwithstanding subparagraph (1), registered persons may keep their professional and managerial colleagues informed of the services they offer and of the practice arrangements, provided that the materials circulated in this way should not disparage, directly or by implication, the services provided by other registered persons nor should it claim superiority for the dental surgeons or dental specialists personal qualities, qualifications, experience or skills.

21.          (1)          A registered person shall use a professional plate or notice, the size of which shall be two hundred and fifty millimeters (250mm) by three hundred millimeters (300mm), to indicate his surgery;

                (2)          The professional plate or notice shall be of the colour indicated below-

 (a)   Dental Surgeons:

                                Red background with white lettering

 (b)   Dental Specialists:

                                Yellow background with white lettering

                (3)          Any professional plate or notice as described in paragraph (1) shall be situated as near as possible to the entrance of the surgery;

                (4)          A professional plate or notice shall contain no particulars other than the name of the registered person, his registered qualifications(s), country of the qualification(s) and the speciality he is practising.

                (5)          A registered person may display, in addition to the notice another notice to inform the public about the hours of consultation and his telephone number(s).  This notice shall be 400mm by 300mm and should be placed as near as possible to the entrance of the surgery.

                (6)          A registered person having a consultation room at the first floor or higher level may display a notice not exceeding 750mm by 150mm on the first floor or higher outside the building.  This notice shall contain only the words “Cabinet Dentaire” or “Dental Surgery”.

                (7)          A registered person shall not display more than one professional plate or notice at each entrance to the building in which he has his consulting room, and at each entrance within such building, to his surgery.

                (8)          A registered person may make use of a directional sign indicating his surgery.

                (9)          A registered person shall not display any professional plate or notice on premises other than those premises, in which the registered person resides or has his surgery.

22.          A registered person shall not have his surgery with an entrance through a pharmacy or share his waiting room with that of the pharmacy.

23.          (1)          Any stationery used by a registered person in connection with his practice shall not contain any matter other than -

                (i)            the name, address(es) and telephone number(s) of the registered person;

(ii)           his professional qualification(s), the place and country of such qualification(s) and the speciality he is practising, civil honours and honorary degrees in an abbreviated form; and/or

(iii)          his consultation hours.

                (2)          A registered person shall not use a prescription form or envelope which bears the name or address of a pharmacy or any commercial product.

24.          (1)          A registered person shall not direct or cause to be directed, a prescription to a specific pharmacy or pharmaceutical chemist.

                (2)          A registered person shall not use any professional plate displaying the name of a commercial product.

25.          (1)          A registered person shall not, whether by way of publication of any article or any personal photograph or otherwise, indulge in any form of self-advertisement or publicity.

                (2)          In particular, he shall not -

 (a)         publish or cause to be published, in the lay media or any other means of communication device, articles likely to have the effect set out in subparagraph (3) (a) and (b);

 (b)         give to journalists of the lay media or any other means of communication device, interviews likely to have the effect set out in subparagraph (3) (a) and (b);

 (c)          allow the publication in the lay media or any other means of communication device, of his cases, operations, treatment, cures or remedies.

                (3)          For the purposes of subparagraph (1) a registered person shall not be taken to have indulged in self advertisement or publicity unless -

(a)          he has invited attention to his professional position, skill, qualification or achievements.

 (b)         the information in the advertisement or publicity furthers the professional interests of a registered person concerned or appears to attract patients to his care.

                (4)          For the purposes of this paragraph publication includes -

(a)          any newspaper, book, periodical, pamphlet, or other printed matter;

(b)          any writing or typescript which has in any manner been duplicated or exhibited or made available to the public or any section of the public.

26.          In any interaction a registered person shall have with the lay media, it is the responsibility of the registered person to ensure the observation of paragraph 20 of this Code of Practice regarding publicity and advertisement.

27.          (1)          The following practices are not regarded as forms of self-advertisement and publicity -

                                (a)          an announcement not exceeding 90mm by 70mm in the press appearing for not more than three days, upon -

 (i)           starting or resuming practice;

 (ii)          changing type of practice;

 (iii)         changing address or telephone number;

 (iv)        temporary absence or resumption of duty.

                                (b)          participating in a program of health education for the public where no form of publicity is resorted to.

28.          A registered person shall not run a shop dispensing prescriptions or selling medicine and dental or surgical appliances.

29.          A registered person has a duty to ensure that his equipment and furnishings are adequate to maintain a high standard of service.

30.          A registered person should refrain from being a member of a Dental Board which has been set up to assess the dental condition of one of his patients.  However he may be solicited to give any clarification on the dental condition of the patient.

31.          A registered person shall refrain from sharing his consultation room with any other person who is not a registered person.

32.          In his patient's interest, a registered person shall request a second opinion or expert advice where necessary and refer to a suitably qualified colleague any case which requires advice and treatment which the registered person considers to be beyond his competence.  In such a case, he shall with a view to giving all relevant information either -

 (a)         accompany the patient; or

 (b)         phone his colleague; or

 (c)          write a proper referral letter to his colleague.

33.          A registered person to whom a patient has been referred by another registered person, whether in the private practice or in a government hospital shall address to the referring registered person a communication on the case.

34.          A registered person should take all appropriate precautions possible to protect his patient and his staff from the risk of cross infection.

35.          Every registered person shall inform the patient or in the case of a minor the responsible party, of the professional fees expected for the proposed dental treatment.

36.          A registered person shall behave towards his colleagues in a manner consistent with his professional calling.

37.          A registered person shall not refer disparagingly to the services or opinion of a colleague in the presence of a patient or in public generally.

38.          Any conflict arising in the exercise of their calling between two or more registered persons shall be professionally dealt with among themselves or if necessary with the help of the Dental Council.

39.          Every registered person shall report in full confidence to the Council any case of any breach of the Code of Practice, incompetence, negligence, corruption, dishonesty, unethical conduct or ill-health on the part of any other registered person.

40.          Registered persons shall assist each other professionally.

41.          No registered person shall enter into any arrangement whereby patients are directed to his practice.

42.          Every registered person shall -

 (a)         ascertain the identity of any person in respect of whom a medical certificate, report or other document, is issued;

 (b)         exercise the utmost care and diligence in issuing any such document;

 (c)          keep a record of the issue of any such document.

43.          (1)          A registered person shall not give discounts to individuals or organizations with a view to attracting more patients.

                (2)          Subparagraph (1) does not prevent a registered person from providing his services free of charge.

44.          (1)          Subject to subparagraph (2), no registered person shall permit his name to be -

 (a)         used in connection with the advertisement of dental instruments, appliances, dressings, drugs, foodstuffs, beverages or dietary preparations; or

 (b)         used as part of the title of any dental practice carried on by a person who is not a registered person.

                (2)          A registered person may use or cause his name to be used in connection with any dental instrument or appliance which he has invented.

45.          (1)          Any arrangement between a registered person and another registered person or dental surgeon for fee splitting shall be unethical.

                (2)          For the purposes of subparagraph (1) "fee splitting" shall include any arrangement whereby one registered person (first registered person) agrees with another registered person (second registered person) to refer to the second registered person a patient on the understanding that the second registered person shall pay to the first registered person part of the fee by way of commission due to the second registered person.

46.          A registered person shall not pay to any person, company or organization, any commission in relation to his professional services.

47.          A registered person shall not receive from, any person, company or organization, any commission in relation to his professional services over and above his professional fee.

48.          A registered person, on succeeding to the practice, due to the death or retirement of a registered person, may retain the professional plate or notice of such practice for a period not exceeding six months.

                However, the professional plate or notice shall indicate that the registered person is the successor to such practice.