Dr. Michael Zuk of Red Deer. (File photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Red Deer dentist takes his fight to court

Battle between Dr. Michael Zuk and ADAC persists

A Red Deer dentist found guilty of unprofessional conduct in connection to his advertising says he will continue to fight for his rights.

Alberta Dental Association and College (ADAC) recently posted the decision of its hearing tribunal and appeal panel regarding charges against Dr. Michael Zuk.

Zuk said he is appealing both decisions through the Court of Appeal of Alberta and hopes to take his case as far as the Supreme Court.

“I’m fighting tooth and nail,” Zuk said.

“I was trying to go to court right from the beginning, but the court won’t hear it until you go through the disciplinary process within the college.”

The appeal panel agreed with tribunal’s decision that Zuk was guilty of statements, demands or threats to a complaintant that do not contribute to the public’s trust and confidence in the dental profession; failing to comply with a request to co-operate with an investigator of the association; and breaching a promise or undertaking to the ADAC in regards to his advertising.

Zuk was ordered to serve a one-year suspension, pay $175,000 and costs for the appeal, and complete the ADAC’s Ethics Program.

The local dentist said his case has nothing to do with patient complaints or treatment. It just has to do with words.

“We can’t advertise before and after pictures. You can’t show teeth you fixed. You can’t advertise for a free consultation. You can’t use the word affordable in a dentist ad in Alberta.”

Last year Zuk was one of three plaintiffs that filed a lawsuit against the ADAC over advertising rights.

The dentists allege the association’s advertising restrictions are an infringement of the Competition Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Zuk said the class action suit was launched on behalf of about 100 dentists and is proceeding to the selection of a judge.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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