George Pegios – Dental Tribunal confirms deregistration for five years

16 September 2010

As reported in a media release of 26 October 2009, the Dental Tribunal found the dentist George Pegios guilty of professional misconduct in respect of four patients, including one patient that died, and unsatisfactory professional conduct in relation to a further three patients. At that point in time, the Tribunal decided to suspend Dr Pegios until it heard further submissions as to what final orders it should make to protect the public.

After several adjournments, in June 2010 the Tribunal decided to proceed in Dr Pegios’ absence, stating that it was in the public interest to bring the matter to a conclusion. The Tribunal concluded the matter and ordered that Dr Pegios should be deregistered for a minimum period of five years. The Tribunal also ordered that Dr Pegios refund some of the fees charged to one of his patients.

On 15 September 2010, the Tribunal released its written decision, in which it confirmed the protective orders made in June 2010.

The evidence that was heard after October 2009, and on which the Tribunal based its final orders, included evidence that:

  • Dr Pegios had breached conditions imposed on him by the Dental Board by treating new implant patients without the written consent of the Board or an approved mentor for the treatment plans for those new patients
  • In addition to the seven patients to which the Commission’s prosecution related, there had been a further twelve complaints that had been upheld by the Dental Board since 1997, where the Board had either ordered a refund of fees to patients or imposed conditions on Dr Pegios’ practice.

The Tribunal found that Dr Pegios:

  • knowingly breached conditions on numerous occasions
  • lacked credit, did not show genuine remorse or insight, and demonstrated a pattern of not providing frank and honest accounts
  • showed a callous disregard for the welfare of patients and grossly failed in his duty of care to patients over a lengthy period of time
  • had an apparent disregard for the fundamental dental health priorities of his patients with a preference to embark on ambitious, extensive and invasive implant/crown and bridge work
  • grossly abused the trust of his patients and was recklessly indifferent to the provision of proper care
  • demonstrated conduct which was unprecedented in the enormity and aggressive nature of the misconduct
  • had significant complaints upheld since 1997 without significant changes in his practice
  • had not rectified serious defects in his keeping of clinical records
  • had given evidence in his criminal trial for manslaughter in June 2008 in a manner in which there was a strong suggestion that he had knowingly misled the court.
  • The Tribunal was of the view that deregistration was necessary to protect the public, maintain the reputation of the profession, and act as a deterrent.

The Tribunal also referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions the evidence that suggested that Dr Pegios had knowingly misled the District Court during his manslaughter trial in June 2008.

Further Information

The full decision is available on the Commission's website listed under Tribunal decisions.

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply. For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at www.ahpra.gov.au.

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