Ministry of Health shuts down Oceanside Dental Clinic on opening day
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
Several days ago, residents reached out to The San Pedro Sun to voice their concerns about a dentist opening a new clinic on Ambergris Caye. Residents cited that in 2005 criminal charges were placed against the dentist for seven counts of injecting semen into his patients’ mouths. Upon hearing these concerns, The Sun commenced an intensive investigation which confirmed these allegations. The dentist in question is Dr. John Robert Hall of Oceanside Dental Clinic which was scheduled to commence operation on Monday, December 7th, but on that morning the Ministry of Health (MOH) halted the opening due to suspicious and unorthodox conduct on behalf of Dr. Hall.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) was contacted by The Sun on Monday, November 30th in an effort to understand how Dr. Hall was licensed in Belize, as his license to practice in the United States of America was revoked by the North Carolina State Board due to criminal charges brought against him back in 2005. According to Director of Licensing and Accreditation at the MOH, Englebert Emmanuel, the MOH had no knowledge of such a dentist opening a practice in San Pedro but did confirm that Dr. Hall had received a license from the Belize Medical Council Board.
In a follow up call to the MOH on Friday, December 4th, Mr. Emmanuel told The Sun that they [MOH] were still investigating the matter but so far they hadn’t found anything wrong. Apparently Dr. Hall’s applications to be licensed from the Dental Council were legitimate and he came with good recommendations. Mr. Emmanuel indicated that they were trying to get in contact with Dr. Hall and conduct a thorough interview with him. According to Mr. Emmanuel this would be done later next week. Emmanuel also stated that they were in the process of contacting the USA Dental Board of North Carolina to find out the logistics on Dr. Hall’s incident and verify if the allegations were true, and confirm that this was the same person before making any decisions. Mr. Emmanuel went on say that the MOH would not be giving a statement at that time, and should The Sun run an article pertaining to the situation it would not be endorsed by them. Emmanuel warned The Sun to wait on the story until they could come up with a conclusion, stating that if not accurate it would be damaging the integrity of both Dr. Hall, the MOH and the Belize Dental Council.
On Monday morning the 7th, concerned that the dentist in question would be free to examine patients in San Pedro, The San Pedro Sun editor Tamara Sniffin visited the police station in an effort to prevent the dental clinic from opening, and met with Deputy of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintended, Henry Jemmott. This was the first the San Pedro Police learned of the situation and dialogue between the MOH and the San Pedro Police promptly began.
It was then that the MOH discovered that Dr. Hall’s license was given under an incorrect name. “Upon investigation we noted that there was no John Robert Hall licensed under the MOH. We informed the San Pedro Police Department on the morning of Monday, December 7th to have them halt the opening of the facility. The matter was then taken to the Director of Health Services who took the matter before the Medical Council. We are still working on the investigations, but for now the facility cannot open,” said Director of Licensing and Accreditation at the MOH, Englebert Emmanuel exclusively to The San Pedro Sun. The current license held by Dr. Hall is under the name “Robert Bob Hall” which was obtained on June 23rd of 2015. The ongoing investigation will reveal who issued the license to Dr. Hall under the assumed name.
As a result, Deputy of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintended, Henry Jemmott visited Oceanside Dental Clinic located on the second floor of Four Sisters Plaza on Pescador Drive shortly after 9AM on the clinics opening day. Jemmott stated that upon inspection he noted that Dr. Hall had managed to obtain a Trade License from the San Pedro Town Council under Belize Dental Connections Limited, the company name for Oceanside Dental Clinic. “At this point we are not sure how he was able to obtain these licenses without using his legal name, but we are investigating the matter. We have since asked the SPTC to revoke his Trade License until all investigations are complete. A person cannot operate in the country under a false name; that is illegal. From what we are observing, the error was made by the Medical Council Board who first issued his license to practice dental work in Belize under the name ‘Robert Bob Hall’. We have since learned what his real name is, and the license has been suspended,” explained Jemmott.
Since his licenses issued by the Belize Medical Council Board had been revoked, Dr. Hall cannot practice dentistry in Belize. MOH is also investigating as to how the Council issued the license under a wrong name in the first place. On Tuesday, December 8th charges were laid against Dr. Hall by the San Pedro Police for the crime of “False Representation” under the Dentist Act Chapter 316 Section 14. “It was thanks to the diligence of The San Pedro Sun that this matter was brought to our attention that we were able to stop the opening of the clinic and ultimately charge Dr. Hall for his wrong doings. He was charged for providing false representation to the Belize Medical Council Board,” said Jemmott.
In June 2005 Dr. Hall was accused of injecting suspicious bodily fluids into his patients’ mouth while tending to them in his clinic in Cornelius, North Carolina, USA. He was ultimately found guilty during his trial of seven counts of injecting semen into his female patients’ mouths. Dr. Hall was initially sentenced to five years of intensive supervised probation, but he chose to serve four months in jail instead. On July 9th, 2005, the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners conducted a hearing where Dr. Hall’s license to practice dentistry was revoked.
The San Pedro Sun contacted Dr. Hall via email requesting an interview before publishing the story. He responded, “Please, please wait. We need to talk. Do not ruin me more. Please.” To date Dr. Hall has not agreed to an interview with The Sun.
The San Pedro Sun will continue to investigate the matter and keep in contact with the MOH and the San Pedro Police Department as the story unfolds.
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