Dentist defrauded NHS to ‘feed drug addiction’

A dentist has admitted defrauding the NHS to feed his drug addiction.

Birmingham dentist Behnam Aghabeigi now faces being struck off by the General Dental Council (GDC) as well as a prison sentence after an investigation by the NHS fraud team led to his prosecution.

Aghabeigi, a former oral surgeon and training director at Birmingham Dental Hospital and a dentist and educational director at Edgbaston’s Tatum Clinic and Institute, pleaded guilty to 12 charges of fraud at Birmingham magistrates’ court.

The court heard that he used his position to get prescriptions for the drug, buprenorphine, between November 2009 and August last year.

He has since lost his job with the Birmingham Dental Hospital.

Buprenorphine is available on prescription and is often used as a replacement to heroin due to its similarities.

Conditions were placed on him by the GDC in March which included rulings that:
• He must notify the GDC promptly of any professional appointment he accepts and provide the contact details of his employers and PCT on whose Dental Performers List he is included
• He must allow the GDC to exchange information with his employers, or any contracting body for which he provides dental services
• He must inform the GDC of any formal disciplinary proceedings taken against him, from the date of this determination
• He must inform the GDC if he applies for dental employment outside the UK
• He must keep his professional commitments under review and limit his dental practice in accordance with his professional colleague’s advice.

In a statement, the GDC said: ‘The Committee has decided that it remains necessary that an interim order is made and that conditions could address the identified concerns.

‘In these circumstances, the Committee has decided that it is necessary in the public interest to replace the interim suspension order with an interim order for conditional registration for the remainder of the 18 month period.

‘The interim order for conditional registration will be reviewed every six months or earlier if new evidence becomes available.’

Meanwhile, his case has been adjourned for sentencing until next month.

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