ORILLIA, ON, June 21, 2018 /CNW/ - The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit's irresponsible attempts to link community members with Hepatitis C to dental care is a greater threat to public health than any dental work being completed by Dr. Joe Philip.
Their latest statement comes nearly two months after they were served with a $10 million dollar lawsuit by Dr. Philip over their mishandling of the investigation into his dental clinic.
The Canadian Liver Foundation estimates that 250,000 Canadians are living with Hepatitis C, and approximately 44% of those who are infected do not know their status.
A peer-reviewed position statement prepared for the Canadian Paediatric Society states that Hepatitis C "is now transmitted almost exclusively by perinatal exposure" to young people, while also accepting approximately 1% of pregnant women in Canada likely have Hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C is spread through blood to blood contact, meaning the blood of an infected person must enter the bloodstream of an uninfected person to pass the virus.
"I have reviewed the detailed allegations made against Dr. Philip's practice by the Health Unit and cannot see where the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has any reasonable or probable grounds to believe there is any chance of a health hazard based on their own admissions of Dr. Philip's sterilization practices. Their claims are not supported by any infection prevention and control peer-reviewed literature or best practices," said, Dr. John Hardie, who is a retired, former Chief of Dentistry at two major Canadian teaching hospitals, and who specialized in oral pathology. Dr. Hardie has published extensively on the subject of dental infection prevention and control.
Dr. Joe Philip has and continues to meet or exceed the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario's Infection Prevention and Control in the Dental Office sterilization protocols, which require sterilization well beyond a degree necessary to avoid blood to blood contact among patients.
With 1 in 150 Canadians infected with Hepatitis C, it should be reasonably expected that every dental practice in Canada is treating at least 10-30 patients annually who carry the virus, without putting their patients who do not carry the virus at risk.
"The Health Unit's irresponsible and unfounded statements pose a serious risk to the genuine health and well being of Ontarians by distorting the facts to claim there is a risk of Hepatitis C transmission where there are no facts to suggest at any time any instruments used in my practice were not adequately sterilized," said Dr. Joe Philip. "Further, Dr. Colin Lee's mischaracterizations of the reality of Hepatitis C in the community will likely further stigmatize those who are infected with the virus from seeking and finding a range of treatments, as seemingly, any medical or dental practitioners who treat them are presumably subject to blame for their condition in the first place."
Dr. Philip's practice remains open and continues to be committed to providing safe and effective treatment to Ontarians, regardless of their health status.
SOURCE Dr. Joe Philip
For further information: Lindsay Macaulay, Broadview Strategy Group for Dr. Joe Philip, 647-951-2013, [email protected]