This matter was heard by a panel of the Discipline Committee of the College of Optometrists of Ontario on August 8, 2012.
The allegations in respect of the Member’s conduct were as follows:
1. Dr. Ng recommended or provided unnecessary treatment services to patients contrary to paragraph 16 of O. Reg. 859/93 1. (1);
2. Dr. Ng failed to maintain the standards of practice for patients when he provided vision therapy for patients with no clinical support for such therapy and when he failed to notify patients as required by the Personal Health Information Protection Act, when he lost their clinical records contrary to paragraph 17 of O. Reg. 859/93 1. (1);
3. Dr. Ng failed to make and maintain records for patients as required by the Regulations when he lost all of the records of the patients whose treatment for vision therapy was billed to Great West Life, failed to maintain records for those patients for whom he provided treatment on a “pro bono” basis and failed to maintain an appointment book contrary to paragraph 27 of O. Reg. 859/93 1. (1) and contrary to O. Reg. 119/94 Part IV Records, Paragraph 8;
4. Dr. Ng signed or issued, in his professional capacity, a certificate, Report or similar document that contains a statement he knew or should have known was false, misleading or otherwise improper contrary to paragraph 29 of O. Reg. 859/93 1. (1);
5. Dr. Ng submitted an account for services rendered that he knew or should have known was false or misleading contrary to paragraph 32 of O. Reg. 859/93 1. (1);
6. Dr. Ng charged fees that were excessive or unreasonable in relation to services performed to the patients contrary to paragraph 33 of O. Reg. 859/93 1. (1);
7. Dr. Ng charged a fee for a service that exceeds the fee set out in the schedule of fees published by the Ontario Association of Optometrists at the time the service was rendered without informing the patient, before the service was performed, of that excess amount contrary to paragraph 34 of O. Reg. 859/93 1. (1);
8. Dr. Ng engaged in conduct or performed an act that, having regard to all circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional or unethical contrary to paragraph 53 of O. Reg. 859/93 1. (1).
The Agreed Statement of Facts stated that Dr. Ng was pleading guilty to the allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8. The allegations contained in paragraphs 4 and 5 were withdrawn.
The Panel accepted Dr. Ng’s guilty plea and the facts set out in the Agreed Statement of Facts. Page 2 of 2
Decision Regarding Penalty
The Panel unanimously accepted the Joint Submission on Penalty and therefore orders as follows:
1. The Registrar shall be directed to suspend the Member’s certificate of registration for 3 months.
2. The Member shall be required to appear before the Panel to be reprimanded.
3. The Registrar shall be directed to impose the following specified terms, conditions and limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration: a. The Member shall take the first available Professional Problem Based Ethics Course offered by the Federation of Regulatory Health Colleges
b. The Member shall undergo a full practice re-inspection 6 months after completing the Ethics Course.
c. Items a and b immediately above shall be conducted at the Member’s expense.
4. The Member shall pay the College’s legal costs and expenses in the amount of $15000, payable in 5 equal monthly instalments beginning the first day of the first month following the Decision of the Discipline Committee in this matter.