Let's talk about dentistry Odontolgy 09/04/2021
Speaking about the pandemic issue is like talking about the elections in the midst of an electoral campaign. Television, the press, the radio, family gatherings and groups of friends base the content of their words on that run-run that gets into every corner and ends up overflowing through our ears. That is why today, like the illustrious Paco Umbral, I am going to talk about my book. Or my topic. Of dentistry in its most prosaic side. It is certainly impossible to evade even a glancing influence from the current situation.
I'll explain. With the latest development of events, the need (and the interest of the whole world) to increase resources in health has been put on the table. At the same time, initiatives have emerged that demand fair remuneration for the professionals involved.
That's right. Because in recent years, health workers in general have seen their fees frozen, if not cut. and here I link with the affirmation that I am going to talk about mine, about us. Dentistry in our country is mostly private. Our professional representatives belong to everyone, but especially to the huge number of dentists who work privately in their consultations, in consultations with other colleagues, in consultations with companies, franchises and mutual insurance companies. Most universities educate thinking about private practice. The point is that we dentists have been suffering cost increases for years: personnel, fixed costs, increasingly expensive techniques and procedures, but without having a proportional impact, most of the time, all of this in our fees. We are decreasing our margin and therefore our personal benefit at the same time that the competition is increasing.
I don't know. If there is anyone left who believes in the invisible hand of Adam Smith's pure and hard liberalism that regulated the market based on competition, efficiency and equity.
The truth is that, at a time when everyone recognizes the importance of fair payment for the treatments we perform, countless mutuals and insurance companies pay us a good number of acts to 0 euros. Surprisingly, our representatives, health officials, even the population we serve (some patients don't even know it) stand up against the unquestionable injustice of accepting that we work for free. The problem no longer refers to the first visits, but to specific acts of the gazetteer of many entities, to make matters worse, many of them linked to basic activities, preventive, >pediatric dentistry, etc. The problem also refers to queries that are forced to “give away” treatments in the hope that the patient will accept budgets, transmuting the relationship of trust into a basically economic/commercial relationship.
For this reason, the moment in which fair economic treatment is claimed for health professionals is the right one to extend it to dentistry. Mutual companies must stop including concepts in their nomenclature paying 0 euros to the dentist, the competition authorities must understand that this fosters a disastrous relationship with the “clients“ and it is also a more than doubtful ethical practice, the labor authorities must understand that the contracts, understood as an agreement between the borrower (the entities, patients, mutual insurance companies, franchises, etc.) We provide services and the dentists who receive remuneration for working are being misrepresented in their spirit and not precisely for the good of the patients or the dentists. Therefore there can be no acts at cost or unilaterally imposed. It does not matter whether it is argued that we are free to sign those agreements or not. We can give away our work to whomever we want, but this cannot become something obligatory or regulated, nor do we necessarily have to do so. Nor can it be a method of attracting patients. It's just not fair or ethical, even though it has unfortunately become an everyday practice.
The need for reference prices linked to elaborate minimum procedures is imposed, thinking of fair remuneration and fair action. A role that the professional associations and the organizations that watch over competition and fairness unfortunately lost should be stimulated in defense of users and also in defense of professionals. The need is imposed for dental companies to use that nomenclature, that description and those prices as a reference.
Now that we all see the importance of professionals receiving a fair price for their work, of not leaving the market to the voracity of the spurious interests of some of the commercialized actors in the dental world. For doing it like this What has happened has happened with regard to misleading advertising and the companies that we all know. It is time to remind to whom it may concern that dentistry, our dentistry, today is basically private. It is a hard subject, difficult to handle, but while we wait for that heavenly future that some promise in which citizens will satisfy their dental needs at the expense of the state, those involved are letting the subject boil I guess thinking The more it boils, the softer it will be. and it is possible that it even ends up being diluted. In other words, we will continue in the starting box.
**Translated with Google Translate