American dentist John Roberts Hall was arrested on Monday in San Pedro as he was about to open the Oceanside Dental Clinic, a new player in an industry called dental tourism. On Tuesday he was charged with false representation and on Wednesday he was formally arraigned in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court. He is currently out on bail after being ordered to surrender all travel documents.
The Oceanside Dental Clinic was closed by Police after they were approached by our media colleagues from the San Pedro Sun who had received information that the dentist had been convicted in the US on charges of sexual assault after he injected semen into the mouths of his female patients.
Pending the findings of an ongoing investigation by the Ministry of Health into that matter, Police acted, detaining the dentist.
After examining Hall’s documents, police also determined that he was opening the clinic to practice under a false name – Robert Bob Hall – which was on the license issued to him by the Belize Medical Council.
In an interview on Tuesday, Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero said that he was alerted via email last week and tabled the matter at a meeting of the Belize Medical Council held on Thursday. An investigation, we are told, was commenced by Chief Dental Surgeon Dr. Rafael Samos and based on the preliminary findings, Hall’s license to operate was suspended. But there are serious questions which remain unanswered.
An investigation by the Reporter has revealed that John Robert Hall was granted a license by the Belize Medical Council in July 2015. The seven-member Council is chaired by Dr. John Gough and includes a representative from the Ministry of Health, two representatives appointed by the Minister, and three representatives from the Belize Medical and Dental Association. The BMC is solely responsible for conducting due diligence on any potential medical practitioner in Belize and after that due diligence, the licensing of said practitioner before they can operate in Belize.
So how did John Robert Hall slip between the cracks? And why was his license granted in the name of Dr. Robert Bob Hall? Police seized Hall’s US Passport, as well as a temporary work permit and Social Security card, issued on July 27th 2015, one day after he entered the country. All are in his real name, yet his license was issued in another name?
The background is that John Robert Hall operated a dental practice in North Carolina, and in 2004, was accused by his employees of injecting semen into the mouths of several of his female patients. Hall’s license was revoked and in May 2005, before a grand jury, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of assault on a female and was jailed for four months. A cursory investigation on Google, suggests that the dentist, operating as Dr. Robert Hall, then moved to Costa Rica, where he worked with a company called Dentavac before coming to Belize.
Director of Health Services Marvin Manzanero told us that he is unable to comment on the process which led up to the granting of the license, but, “as we understand it, he had been practicing in Costa Rica prior to getting here, so I believe that is his immediate history that was checked before he was granted the license.”
The Reporter has tried to reach Chairman of the Belize Medical Council Dr. John Gough on multiple occasions, without success. We were able to reach Chief Dental Surgeon Dr. Rafael Samos, who told us that he was unable to offer comment since only the Chairman could do that.
There has been no official release from the Ministry of Health or the Belize Medical Council.