Dental assistant scolded for criticizing licence fee hike
Billee Hooper calls $120 increase 'disgusting' and 'outrageous'
A dental assistant in Nova Scotia is speaking out after learning that critical comments she made about a 130 per cent licence fee increase will be discussed by the provincial dental board that regulates the profession.
Billee Hooper is on maternity leave from her job as a dental assistant. She says she loves the work, but is upset the annual licence fee rose $120 this spring.
She mailed in her cheque and attached a sticky note describing the increase as "outrageous," "disgusting," and "BS."
"I was totally expressing my views and it wasn’t to offend anybody or hurt anybody’s feelings. Basically I want a breakdown of where this money is going, all this extra money," Hooper said.
Earlier this week Hooper received a letter from the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia. It says the board will discuss her "unprofessional” comments that showed "utter disrespect for the board’s authority" at a meeting on Friday.
"I respect the board, I respect the people on it. It doesn't mean I have to agree with this increase in fees," Hooper said.
“It’s really discouraging to know that I can’t express my feelings or make comments to the dental board. They are our governing body, so where are we supposed to go to as dental assistants if they’re going to quickly jump all over you and penalize you just for expressing your point of view?
"I’m just trying to stand up for myself and my colleagues, that's all it is."
Dr. Martin Gillis, the board's registrar, told CBC News that while Hooper’s comments will be "reviewed," there is no complaint and therefore no grounds for any disciplinary action.
"She's not being accused of anything. It's just to bring this to the attention of the board," he said.
According to Gillis, the 130 per cent increase in licence fees for dentists and assistants will pay for a new database provider, administration costs and "legislative amendments that are going to be moving forward in the next couple of years."