Licensing Board within the Division of Consumer Affairs
Revokes License of Ocean County-Based Physician
NEWARK – The State Board of Medical Examiners at its monthly meeting yesterday revoked the license of an Ocean County-based physician who had previously been suspended from practice in April 2009.
The Board revoked the license of Dr. Parvez Dara for a minimum four-year period, retroactive to the start of his suspension from practice. Dr. Dara can apply for re-licensure after April, 2013, if he meets re-education requirements set by the Board.
The Board's disciplinary action against Dr. Dara follows an outbreak of hepatitis B among patients treated at his Toms River office linked to unsanitary conditions there. Subsequent testing of patients confirmed that at least 29 of Dr. Dara's patients were infected with hepatitis B.
"The Board of Medical Examiners' actions in this matter were focused on protecting the public from a health threat that had, in fact, strickened patients," Attorney General Paula T. Dow said. "License revocation is appropriate, given the facts in this case."
The revocation of the Dr. Dara's license followed a lengthy hearing at the Office of Administrative Law. In reaching its decision, the Board found that Dr. Dara's office was unsanitary and rife with breaches in standard infection control practices, including inappropriate reuse of a saline bag on multiple patients throughout treatment days; failure to clean up splashes of blood; syringes removed from sterile wrapping and then left open for use; and handling of medication vials and common writing instruments with blood contaminated gloves.
The State Department of Health and Senior Services and the Ocean County Health Department coordinated the public health epidemiological investigation and response and sent letters to approximately 2,800 patients seen by Dr. Dara urging them to get tested for exposure to hepatitis B and other bloodborne pathogens.
"The exposure of patients to hepatitis B clearly demonstrated gross negligence on the part of Dr. Dara," said Thomas R. Calcagni, Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. "Our licensing Boards will act to protect the public when licensees do not follow professional standards of conduct or violate our regulations governing practice."
Dr. Dara must complete re-education in infection control and ethics training prior to applying for re-licensure. The Board assessed a $30,000 civil penalty and reimbursement for its investigative and legal costs, which are now being calculated.
Deputy Attorneys General Siobhan Krier and Bindi Merchant of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section represented the State in this matter.