The Las Pinas Dental Chapter, headed by its president Dr. Narisa H. Ragos, together with the Las Pinas Police, led by P/Sr. Supt. Romulo E. Sapitula and Chief Inspector Jandale Sulit recently held an information dissemination campaign to member dentists of the city regarding the alarming modus operandi targeting dentists today.
According to Ragos, the seminar was well-attended by their members (almost 100) and the tips given were also very helpful. Police inspectors from each precinct of the city were also there so that dentists from their area will be familiar with them.
The Philippine Dental Association also recently gave out a circular to all their members warning them of the clinic robberies and molestation and also some murders.
“It is sad and unfortunate to note that it still continues to be in such a critical and alarming situation nowadays,” said PDA president Dr. Roberto Tajonera, adding that they are in constant communication with law enforcement agencies.
PDA also gave out these warnings to their members:
- Please be careful with walk-in patient, if possible by appointment only, for new patients let them fill up the dental chart/record and signed: to include 2 character references.
- Always lock the door especially between 1:30-3:pm, when the culprit or perpetrator usually enter for a dental services and the patient is properly dressed, behave and with matching jewelries.Ask for valid I.D. for proper identification.
- Presence of mind, especially the element of surprise, stay cool, calm and don’t panic when you are accosted with a knife, a gun, or a tear gas by the robber.
- Avoid the use of heavily tinted glass or venetian blind in the clinic, no one can see what is happening inside. Two way glass or clear glass is a better way of prevention. Or incorporate glass sticker or smoke glass as one deterrent.
- CCTV unit or security guard employment is a deterrent, subject to financial consideration of dentist. Hidden digital camera without flash or similar gadget is a big help.
- A remote or foot control alarm or buzzer, hidden outside the clinic or connected to your neighbor to be noticed only by your neighboring establishment or passers-by. Switch should be accessible.
- Dress code for dentist and assistant, so as not to attract the malicious intent of bad element in the vicinity.
- Employ a male assistant with specific duty to monitor walk in patient.
- Take Note of PNP or Barangay HOTLINE/EMERGENCY Number in your area of practice.
- Optional – take a picture of every walk in patient, invoking the necessity of recording and profiling procedure.
Here are the sketches of the alleged suspects:
All member dentists of the PDA were advised to closely coordinate with their chapter presidents and to call the AD HOC COMMITTEE ON DENTIST SECURITY HOTLINES at 0922-8841390/0933-5421740 to report any incidents or for comments on how to be safer.