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In the Matter of the College of Dental Surgeons of BC and Dr. Bobby Rishiraj

Last updated 22 October 2015

Discipline Panel decision summary

31 July 2015

Dr. Bobby Rishiraj is registered with the College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC) as a certified specialist in oral and maxillofacial surgery. He operated a private dental facility in Kamloops, B.C., known as the Kamloops Oral Surgery and Implant Centre. Dr. Rishiraj was approved to provide moderate sedation at his clinic.

In November 2012, a patient, HZ, attended his clinic to have her wisdom teeth removed. During the procedure, HZ went into cardiac arrest and subsequently sustained a severe brain injury. Dr. Rishiraj filed a critical incident report with CDSBC as is required when an adverse event happens in a dentist’s office, or immediately after treatment.

Following an investigation by CDSBC, the Inquiry Committee (which oversees investigations) directed that a citation* be issued against Dr. Rishiraj. The citation included a number of allegations against Dr. Rishiraj.

A hearing into the allegations contained in the citation took place from 12-14 November 2014 and 26-30 January 2015 in Vancouver. Dr. Rishiraj attended the hearing. Both Dr. Rishiraj and CDSBC were represented by counsel.

Admissions

Dr. Rishiraj admitted to some of the allegations against him, including that he committed professional misconduct or unprofessional conduct by:

  • Providing deep sedation at his facility, when it was not approved as a deep sedation facility and he was not approved to provide deep sedation to patients; and
  • Not operating the facility in compliance with CDBSC’s sedation and general anaesthetic standards.

Findings

The Discipline Panel considered evidence and submissions, including testimony and reports from two expert witnesses on those allegations in the citation not admitted to by Dr. Rishiraj at the outset of the hearing. It issued its decision on 23 June 2015.

It found that Dr. Rishiraj:

  • Administered deep sedation to HZ when neither he nor the facility were authorized to do so, and without complying with CDSBC’s guidelines for deep sedation;
  • Ran his practice to promote “efficiencies” by treating as many patients in as short a time as possible;
  • Failed to recognize HZ’s cardiac arrest in a timely way and delayed resuscitative measures as a result; and
  • Failed to adequately monitor his patients while they were under sedation.

The Discipline Panel concluded that Dr. Rishiraj’s failure to adequately monitor his patients and to recognize HZ’s cardiac arrest could be characterized as incompetent practice.

View the full Discipline Panel Decision (redacted) (PDF)

Penalty hearing

A panel of the Discipline Committee met on 24 August 2015 to consider submissions regarding the penalty for Dr. Rishiraj. This penalty hearing took place in Vancouver and was open to registrants and the public.

Penalty decision summary

22 October 2015

The Discipline Committee Panel hearing the Dr. Bobby Rishiraj case released its penalty decision on 19 October 2015. The penalty decision is the final stage in the discipline process. The penalty includes:

  • A reprimand;
  • Suspension from practice for three months (effective 21 October 2015);
  • Payment of a fine of $50,000 and costs of $50,891.30;
  • Successful completion of a multi-day ethics course;  
  • For a period of five years after the suspension is lifted:

- he may only provide moderate sedation using only one drug of the benzodiazepine class, and 
- CDSBC may monitor and inspect his practice at any time without notice.

Read the full penalty decision (PDF) 

Note to the public: A statement on this decision is available here.



*A citation is a formal document that lists the allegations against the registrant and provides notice that there will be a hearing before the Discipline Committee.