That BDA lecture in Reading created a lot of thoughts and a lot of reflection in the 2.5 hours there and the 2.5 hours back in the car.
On the way back, I was thinking about an interchange in the lecture between one of the attendees. I am going to say she was a young dentist (but then everyone under 40 is young to me now)
She was a young woman who spoke to me at the end of the lecture and was obviously very committed. She had asked me a question about indemnity and whether she should consider switching to one of the independent providers, away from the classic defence unions.
Her indemnity fees for general dentistry were £4,500 per year.
We talked at the end of the lecture and she told me that she had climbed Kilimanjaro with her dad last year – an amazing achievement.
It made me think how tough it is for General Dental Practitioners who get hammered at one end on their indemnity, hammered at the other end for what feels like competition for private dentistry and squeezed in the middle and life will seem harder and harder.
Make a mistake or get a touch and the indemnity fee goes up.
Don’t be on it entirely all the time with your marketing and sourcing of patients and your income into the practice goes down.
Decide to do a Royal College exam and you have to pay to be a member of the Royal College.
Decide to be in the BDA and you have to pay for that.
From my own point of view, my indemnity is £5,500 (I am with the MDDUS and I only work clinically half of the week) if I was in Northern Ireland that would be £22,000!!
I pay to be a BDA member, an ADI member, an SAAD member, an ITI Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Not to mention my GDC registration. All told, we’re into five figures for the fees I pay every year.
It’s easy for me though, because I’m a ‘rich’ implant surgeon.
If I was a ‘poor’ GDP it would be even tougher.
So, what is the point to the rambling mind games in the car somewhere near Silverston on the way back from Reading?
We need to come together as a group of motivated, educated individuals to bring solutions to the profession and to streamline all of this stuff we do.
We need to be able to get behind the banners of fewer institutions of higher quality and this needs to be initiated and run by unsung heroes.
Since I was the secretary of a BDA branch back in the 2000’s we’ve had an explosion of associations and organisations to subscribe to and the list just seems to get longer and longer and longer.
In effect what happened was that the market diversified and in normal economics in business principles, after diversification comes consolidation.
We need some leaders who don’t want to be heroes, who don’t want to be famous, who just want to make things better. To bring everything together and streamline it.
At the end of all these subscriptions, diplomas and pieces of paper are patients that need to be treated properly.
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