27 Oct 2023
A Northern Territory former dentist has been hit with record court costs, disqualified from applying for registration for five years, and banned from working in certain health services and using specified titles and after misleading a court.
In March 2023, the Northern Territory Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Myles Holt and upheld an earlier finding that he knowingly provided false or misleading evidence to a local court.
In April 2022, the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Mr Holt had engaged in professional misconduct by giving dishonest evidence to a local court in proceedings he had brought against his former employer for unpaid payments under an employment contract.
The dishonest evidence related to Mr Holt’s claim to his former employer that he could no longer work on Saturdays for personal reasons, when in fact he was moonlighting as a dentist in Singapore when he should have been practising in Darwin. Dr Holt’s case was that he did not work as a dentist in Singapore until after the contract was terminated.
The tribunal found that ‘the knowingly false evidence was intended to, and probably did, assist Mr Holt in achieving success in that litigation’.
After the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Mr Holt to overturn the finding of professional misconduct, the tribunal this month disqualified him from applying for registration for five years and ordered he pay the Dental Board of Australia $100,000 in costs.
The costs are the highest ever ordered against a dental practitioner under the National Law, and Dental Board of Australia Chair Dr Murray Thomas said it had taken several years to achieve the outcome and sends an important message to the profession about maintaining the public’s trust.
‘The Board works to uphold public confidence in the dental profession, and here we have demonstrated we will not tolerate dishonest behaviour from practitioners that undermines trust in the profession,’ Dr Thomas said.
‘The Board is delighted the tribunal recognised the need for honesty and integrity when working as a dentist.’
Mr Holt failed to attend the latest tribunal hearing and was given to 9 November 2023 to pay the record costs.
As well as being reprimanded and disqualified from applying for health practitioner registration for five years, Mr Holt was banned from working in any health service involving the provision of dental services, health education services and/or clinical or practical education/training until he is registered again.
The ban prevents Mr Holt from providing dental and educational services including training in providing Botox, dermal fillers or any other cosmetic injectable, carboxytherapy, facial fat reduction, or the extraction and injection of blood and blood products until he is registered as a health practitioner under the National Law.
Mr Holt is also barred from using the titles ‘Dental Surgeon’, ‘Medico-legal advisor’, ‘Doctor’, ‘Dr’, ‘Global Clinical Director’ and ‘Honorary Lecturer, Aesthetic Dentistry’ or any similar title until he is registered. The tribunal members found that at the time of the hearing, Mr Holt was using his former status as a registered practitioner to legitimise and promote himself as a healthcare trainer for the business Australasian Academy of Dento-Facial Aesthetics, which was ‘a concern given our findings as to his dishonesty and professional misconduct’.
‘The protection of the public would be undermined if the Respondent [Mr Holt], who is clearly not presently fit to be a health practitioner, could nonetheless continue to train health practitioners in the same or related fields,’ the tribunal members found.
‘The protection of the public would be also undermined if the Respondent [Mr Holt] could continue to use titles that suggested he was still a registered health practitioner.’
The tribunal’s full decision was published on Austlii on 11 October 2023.
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