Okla. board: Clinic inspections not necessary

JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS Associated Press Published:

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- The Oklahoma agency that accused a Tulsa oral surgeon of unsanitary practices that put thousands of people at risk for hepatitis and HIV says it's never needed to inspect medical offices regularly.

Like some other states, Oklahoma does inspections only if it receives a complaint.

That's what happened in the case of Dr. W. Scott Harrington. His practice was inspected after officials determined a patient may have contracted hepatitis C while having dental surgery.

States note that they don't have the money for routine inspections and such incidents are rare.

Oklahoma health officials sent letters Friday to all 7,000 patients they found in Harrington's 6-year-old records. The letters urge patients to be screened for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and the virus that causes AIDS.