Dentist charged NHS patient £907

A dentist was named and shamed today for treating an NHS patient and then producing a bill for £907.

Manoochehr Behmanesh, of Waltham Forest, gave no indication he was doing private work on the patient before charging him, according to a report.

In a rare move, health service ombudsman Ann Abraham decided to name the dentist after he refused to apologise or reimburse the angry patient.

Ms Abraham said she was making an exception "so that Mr Behmanesh can be publicly accountable for his actions".

In her report, Ms Abraham said there was no evidence the dentist had discussed the treatment or its cost before carrying out the work. She recommended an instant apology and repayment to the patient.

But Mr Behmanesh yesterday refused to back down and said he had taken the case to his lawyers. "I am not happy with the way the thing was investigated," he said.

The case has renewed debate about the lack of controls on private dentists.

A survey by the Office of Fair Trading earlier this year found less than half obey General Dental Council rules by giving patients cost and procedure details before treatment. The OFT report added that some dentists were inflating charges.

The Evening Standard found four months ago that fewer than half of London residents have been able to register with an NHS dentist - the worst rate in the country. The figure had fallen to as low as 21 per cent in some areas, raising concerns about the overall state of dental health in the capital.

NHS dentists, who are selfemployed but work as "independent contractors", receive about £18 for filling a tooth. The private patient fee is about £50.

A shortage of state dentists across Britain has left thousands of patients across Britain being forced into private care.

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