EXCLUSIVE by Wendy Williams
A DODGY dentist has failed to show up in court after launching a lawsuit against the Olive Press for revealing his chequered past.
Rajkumar Rao had sued us for libel after we revealed that he had been TWICE struck off in the UK and – but for an administrative error – should not be practising in Spain.
We were forced to stump up over 5,000 euros to defend a string of stories about Raj Rao, who had even featured in a UK documentary called Dentists from Hell.
Yet, incredibly on the day he was due to make an appearance at Coin court, the Olive Press discovered him practising at his state-of-the-art surgery in Alhaurin el Grande.
His wife Saloni told us: “He will call if he wants to say anything. Please get out of my house.”
The withdrawal came as a big kick in the teeth for two local victims, who had turned up to support our case.
“It adds insult to injury,” said David Buchanan, 49, who travelled over 2,500 kilometres from Scotland to tell the judge how he had been left paralysed on one side of his face after an injection went wrong.
“It has been left permanently numb. When my children go to kiss me goodnight on that cheek, I still can’t feel it.”
Buchanan, who moved back to Falkirk last year, had attended the Spanish clinic suffering from severe pain in 2007.
“Rao told me I had an abscess in a tooth and I needed it removed immediately,” he explained.
“But he didn’t use any anaesthetic as he said it was dead and would not hurt.
“The next thing I knew I was suffering the worst pain of my life and was covered in blood and gore. That’s when he hastily injected the anaesthetic which somehow pierced my eye socket, paralysing half of my face.”
Buchanan – who was unable to work for seven months – could not close the eye for months and has lost his sense of taste.
Although he has since lost a criminal case against Rao, he has appealed and is proceeding with a civil claim.
“I will keep coming back until I get justice.”
Another victim Veronica Thomas was also furious about her wasted trip to Coin.
She came to tell the judge how she had paid Rao 760 euros to replace a dental plate, which broke within a fortnight.
“He said it would last for the rest of my life, but it broke two weeks later,” she explained.
After it broke a further two times, Thomas, 66, sent her husband Richard to do a ‘sit in’ at the practice until he got a full refund.
But after two hours of waiting, Rao called the police.
“He accused us of being just another British couple who had run out of money and was trying to weasel it back.”
Thomas added: “It was just so insulting and he can’t be allowed to keep doing this to innocent people.”
Despite the Olive Press speaking to other victims and suppliers, Sri Lankan-born Rao continues to advertise ‘world class dental care’ from The Alhaurin Dental Centre.
He was first struck off in the UK in 1998 for ‘serious professional misconduct’.
The British Dental Assocation heard details of six patients, including a 72-year-old who was given 22 crowns when she only needed seven.
Incredibly he was able to get his licence back after three years in 2001, but was stuck off again in 2004.
Oddly, this did not stop him getting a licence to practice through the Malaga College of Dentistry.
While a spokesman initially told the Olive Press that the college ‘knew nothing’ about his history, court documents show the body failed to get the necessary proof that he had a clean record.
Indeed, the college admitted that Rao had not provided a certificate, as required from the British Dental Association.
It merely accepted a personal declaration saying: ‘I do not have any proceedings against me’.
A letter to the judge insisted that because ‘10 years had lapsed’ and the person who approved it was ‘not working for the college now’, it was unable to explain this shortcoming.
A series of questions addressed to the college this week remain unanswered.
The dentist from hell documentary should be put on you tube so we all can see just exactly what this person is capable of,well done to the olive press for exposing this dentist
DID ANYONE SEE THE FILM ” MARATHON MAN ” STARRING
THE SCENE WHERE HOFFMANS CHARACTER HAS TEETH EXTRACTED
THIS BRINGS IT ALL BACK.
Terrible that this man should be allowed to get away with this…he deserves more than just being sued.
Just on a point of fact, the British Dental Association would not have been involved in a case like this, you may mean the General Dental Council. The British Dental Association is a voluntary trade union, the largest of a number of such organisations for Dentists in the UK. They have nothing to do with regulation or disciplinary matters.
Your paper should keep up the coverage so possible clients know the quality of service they could get – their decision is up to them. Sounds like if he ever gives up Dentistry, he’s qualified to be a local Town Mayor… the PM of the UK .. or even President of the USA!!
Yes correct, it was the General Dental Council, or GDC, that twice erased Rao in the UK
I know this man and you are all talking rubbish
I have known raj personally and professionially for 5 years, he has looked after my family and I and friends to the highest standard without any complaints whatsoeve. When people are in pain they are willing to pay any amounts of money to relieve any pain. As soon as the pain has gone they realise they can’t afford it and forget about how much pain they were in. People have short memories. Stop listening to tittle tattle he is a very very good dentist
I will be very shocked if something is not done to prevent this man from practicing in the future.The law is the law and I think raj rao thinks he is above the law
Taffy he may be your friend but when there is evidence in a documentary of how this “good ” dentist has treated people in the past and been STRUCK OFF twice, I think this far more than tittle tattle.
All I can say is that from all our experiences with raj je has been brilliant pain free and profesional and true to his word.and you get what you pay for
i have only praise for raj&saloni top class service
I have to admit I was under his dental care for many years before he first got struck and have to admit I found him to be a great dentist.
I am terrified of dentist in general and he put me at ease. I must have been one of the lucky ones.
I have said it before and I will say it again. I was terrified of Dentists in general but had a great deal of work carried out by Raj Rao a few years ago and am still very pleased with the results! I may have paid over the odds but I was also allowed to pay over a period of time something no other dentist had offered me so what is the price of a fantastic smile and easy payment??? I would say priceless!!! (anyone is more than welcome to contact me to see my smile and check that what I am saying is true my telephone number is 619727120). I find it amusing that the Olive Press has been very eager to use the term “struck off” but not so eager to explain for what exactly only alluding to a possible crime of “greed”… To be honest if I was him I would also sue you for libel and if you were forced to stump up over 5,000 euros well the proof is in the pudding…
Is he still practicing?
I am one of the patients of this dentist, Raj Rao and took a complaint to the GDC which resulted in this ‘man’ being stuck off in the UK for the second time. I also appeared on the afore mentioned ‘Dentists from Hell’.
I thought my teeth looked fine, but was upset when at a routine check up, the covering dentist wanted to replace the work. The work was supposed to last me for years, so I insisted on having a second opinion as it had only been completed six months previously.
I was referred to a consultant at the Dental Hospital in Liverpool. Anyone wanting to see how I was left would need to watch the TV programme- I wasn’t really left with any choice but to have my teeth removed.
I am outraged that he has continued to practice.
It is natural for a man to run from his country, to keep looking for ways to feed his family and keep his integrity.
Rao you can run but, you CANNOT HIDE !!
The Malaga College headed by Dr Bermudo can at any time revert the license or ask for futher credentials. Some of the points cited above are silly, go for legal documents. Don´t say something like when my filling fell out I realized he was a awful dentist, for that says little about you.
Is’nt this another case where a functioning EU could be informed by any member country about professional malpractice that stops them from working in any EU country. Since this has’nt happened since the formation of the EU in 1956 it is’nt likely to happen ever.