The College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. was satisfied to hear B.C. Supreme Court associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen issued not only a warrant but also a permanent injunction for David Wu on Monday, after it was found he was illegally practising dentistry in Burnaby.
Wu, also known as Tung Sheng Wu, or legal counsel on his behalf did not attend the court proceedings on Aug. 12, which found that he breached a 2003 order prohibiting him from being a dentist.
"(Wu) hasn't fled," Jerome Marburg, registrar and CEO of the college, told The Record. "We have a very good idea where he is. This is an active investigation."
A former patient's complaint about Wu's treatment sparked the initial investigation in late May, and the college hired a private investigator to determine if the unregistered dentist was in fact illegally practising from his home on Southwood Street.
"She was brave to do what she's done, but she did not feel ... comfortable enough to provide more detail on the complaint itself," Marburg said, as the patient did not sign an affidavit.
According to court findings, Wu was illegally practising on approximately 1,500 clients who have been warned to get tested for Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus and HIV because his practice did not meet the college's infection prevention and control requirements.
"Now it's just a matter of getting him in front of the court, whenever that happens," Marburg said. "I think we're gratified the court issued the order that they have. I hope he's off the street, and we'll do whatever we can to see that is in fact the case."
Wu is slated to appear at a sentencing hearing.
The warrant issued allows any police or peace officer in Canada to compel or assist him in appearing in court. No sentencing date has been set yet.
"We're looking, obviously, for a stronger sentence," Marburg said.
He also said they have evidence Wu was trying to ship some of his personal belongings but did not succeed in doing so, but they do not know if he was able to mail anything else otherwise.
The college has also launched an internal investigation into why the decision to prohibit Wu from practising 10 years ago was made.
The health authorities were not notified at the time because the college did not have evidence of infection control problems.
"We have heard Mr. Wu offered cut-rate pricing," Marburg said. "Some clients came to Canada from countries where dentistry is not regulated, and may not have realized that dentists must be registered and qualified to practise 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."
Anyone who received treatment from Wu is asked to call a public health nurse through Fraser Health's toll-free line at 1-855-895-7425.
"Because Mr. Wu was not a licensed dentist and because he was not following the infection control procedures expected of a licensed dentist, we believe there is sufficient risk of exposure to bloodborne viruses to recommend testing for all clients," said Dr. Michelle Murti, a Fraser Health medical health officer, in an earlier interview with the Burnaby NOW.
Patients who want to check on the legitimacy of a dental practitioner can do so by visiting the College of Dental Surgeon's website at www.cdsbc.org and following the Director of Dentists link on the front page.
Retired dentist David Wu and currently practising dentist Tung-Yi Wu, with offices on Cambie Street, are not in any way connected to this case.
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