Rocanville Dental Clinic closes

October 7, 2013 7:58 am
Kevin Weedmark

The Rocanville Dental Clinic has been closed after disciplinary action against its owner, Dr. Cameron Croll, by the College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan.

Croll was found guilty of professional misconduct by the college, suspended from practising for a month, and ordered to pay $66,325.73

Croll, who practices in Victoria, has set up satellite clinics in multiple locations in British Columbia, northern Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, and looked at setting up a clinic in Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula. The Newfoundland clinic never went ahead as Croll was looking for a $1 million grant from the province to set up the clinic.

Croll’s model involved staffing clinics with dental hygienists and dental therapist, and having a visiting dentist visit the clinics certain days to oversee the dental work.

The model raised questions with the Saskatchewan College of Dental Surgeons over supervision by a dentist.

Croll operated several clinics in Saskatchewan without full-time dentists—in Rocanville, Gravelbourg, Wynyard, Maple Creek, Rosthern and Tisdale, as well as two in Manitoba and three in British Columbia.

In 2009, a question was raised with the college over supervision of ancillary dental services in clinics without full-time dentists, and according to the college’s disciplinary committee hearing panel, the question “was initially responded to by Dr. Croll with hostility.”

In 2010, the college’s Quality Assurance Committee made inquiries into Croll’s Saskatchewan operations. “Initially the inquiries directed to Dr. Croll met with some resistance but the information was subsequently provided.”

In 2011, the Quality Assurance conducted a practice evaluation and review of all dental clinics but did not get any co-operation from Croll.

“Dr. Croll’s interactions with the review and evaluation committee did not get off on the right foot,” according to the decision from the college’s discipline committee.

“It appeared he viewed the process as being instigated by Registrar Dr. White to prevent him from practising in Saskatchewan through satellite offices . . . The Quality Assurance Committee engaged in interactions with Dr. Croll from January 2011 to July 2011, before its members concluded they were not receiving the informations sought. As a result, the Quality assurance Committee filed its complaint on July 28, 2011 with the Professional Conduct Committee citing Dr. Croll for alleged failure to respond to the Chair of the Quality Assurance Committee and allegedly failing to comply with the Committee’s recommendations.”

Croll was found guilty of professional misconduct in March of this year, and a penalty of a suspension and payment of $66,325.73 was ordered in June.

Croll said in an interview Friday from Victoria that he doesn’t accept the decision against him.

“It’s a pile of shit,” he said. “This is the same old stuff all over again.

“They accuse me of inadequate supervision. They don’t have a definition of adequate supervision. By logical extension, any supervision is acceptable.”

He said that he sometimes had a dentist at the Rocanville office one day a month, and some months not at all. “Sometimes it was one day a month, sometimes there might not have been any, but the problem is there is no guideline,” said Croll.

While the penalty from the college requires Croll’s offices to be closed for one month, he said the Rocanville office is likely closed permanently.

Croll said he feels persecuted.

“I have no idea if they have a board with my name on it and tell everybody ‘if you get a complaint about Croll we want to hear about it.’ I don’t know if Bernie White didn’t like my haircut or what, but we’ve been at each other’s throats since I started talking about opening in Saskatchewan. There haven’t been any complaints against me. Well, there was one complaint against me, but that had to do with general anaesthetics, not supervision.

“That’s what really pisses me off. I said ‘who made a complaint?’ They said ‘nobody did, we’re just not sure you’re running these right.’

“The simplest solution would have been for them to have approached me and bought me out. Instead they bully and bully and bully and bully and they’ve scared my staff. I’ve told (college registrar) Bernie White ‘you’re like the Taliban of Saskatchewan dentistry.’

“If I was able to sell everything for a decent price I would get out of there and never go back. I would fly over Saskatchewan and never go there again.

“This is all so Mickey Mouse. If it wasn’t so serious, it would be a goddamn joke.”

The Rocanville Dental Clinic operated out of the town-owned medical clinic.

The town and RM of Rocanville invested about $25,000 into setting up the dental office.

Rocanville Mayor Darryl Fingas said there was no warning the clinic would close.

“It came as a total surprise,” he said. “We were never informed. We really were surprised that this happened.”

Fingas said the town hadn’t had any official notification that the clinic would be closing as of last week, and was given no reason.

“Now we’re going to have to just wait and see,” he said. “Nobody’s ever contacted us. We never heard anything until the day it closed.”

Fingas said Rocanville will try to attract a new dentist for the clinic.

“We hope to find another dentist to fill the position” he said. “Maybe somebody just out of college would be interested in starting here.”

The town attracted the service from Dr. Croll through the local Economic Development Committee.

“He had a couple of clinics in Manitoba, and seemed to have found a way to serve smaller towns,” Fingas said. “Our economic development group heard about and approached him and he said ‘sure.’ “

Fingas said the clinic is an important service in the town. “The medical clinic and the dental clinic are very important services,” he said. “It saves people a lot of driving to another centre, especially older people.

“Older people have to find someone to drive them. To have a dentist here makes it easier. The current dentists in Moosomin are busy, so it’s important to have a dentist.”