Permanent resident gets one year jail for practising dentistry with no licence

National 2 minutes, 22 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A PERMANENT resident who fitted braces onto 22 patients was sentenced yesterday to serve 12 months in jail for practising dentistry without a proper licence.

During the proceedings yesterday, presiding magistrate Azrimah Hj Abd Rahman sentenced the defendant Hayimmah Bahri, 29, to two months in jail for each of the 22 counts under the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act which she pleaded guilty to.

The court further ordered for the first six charges to be served consecutively with the remaining charges to run concurrently bringing a total of 12 months in jail. The sentence is to run with effect from the date of conviction.

Hayimmah was brought in for questioning on April 12, 2014, when police from the Commercial Crime Investigation Unit conducted a raid at her home in STKRJ Kg Tungku Gadong following a report in 2013 that a number of patients came to the Dental Services Department, Ministry of Health, to fix, open and receive treatments on braces which were fitted by a Facebook online seller by the account name “Sop Chery Chery”.

The report was made because the braces have caused damage to teeth and supporting tissues. Additionally, the disinfection and sterility of the instruments used is questionable. The complainant believes that “Sop Chery Chery” was practising dentistry without a proper licence.

Police investigations revealed that Hayimmah was not a person registered as a dentist and not exempted from being so under the provisions of the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act.

The defendant had been practising dentistry by fitting braces onto patients and giving consultation advice to patients.

According to Hayimmah, she learned how to fit braces in 2005 in Madura. However, she is not certified to practise dentistry. She started fitting braces at the end of 2012 and as she received more customers, she started to take photographs of the braces she fitted and uploaded on a Facebook account she managed.

Since she started until April 2014, she managed two different Facebook accounts: “Braces Orthodontics Brunei” and “Sop Chery Chery”. Potential customers would contact her through the Facebook accounts or by text messaging her.

Prior to fitting the braces on, Hayimmah would ask potential customers to take photographs of their teeth. She would then give consultation advice as to whether they should first go to a dentist for scaling, checking their gums and pulling out their teeth if necessary. Thereafter, she would set an appointment with them for her to fit the braces at her house.

She would charge the customers depending on the structure of their teeth. The patients paid between $150 and $450 for each braces fitted and they were further charged between $15 and $30 for monthly maintenance services.

Investigations show that Hayimmah bought the equipment and tools for fitting braces from Jakarta through a Facebook account, “LN Behel Shop”. She had only started using a proper dental chair in November 2013 after buying it on eBay.

The Brunei Times