The unexpected political power of (US) dentists…

Interesting article in The Washington Post about the reaction of the dental profession to the introduction of  alternatives to provide dental care in poor and rural areas. The alternatives include such innovations as dental therapists and “open access” to hygienist care.

The bill establishing a new provider type ultimately passed, but “it was brutal, very brutal,” recalled David Burns, a Republican state senator who retired after supporting the measure. Afterward, Burns said, he got a call from his dentist, who vowed never to treat him again, saying, “This relationship is over.”…

Most of the 200,000 dentists in America work solo, in offices that are essentially small businesses. They are known for projecting a remarkably unified voice on issues relating to their livelihood. The ADA (American Dental Association) says 64 percent (my emphasis) of dentists belong to the association. By comparison, only 25 percent of physicians belong to the American Medical Association.

Full article HERE

 

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The Monday Morning Quote #424

“A week is a long time in politics.”

Harold Wilson

UK Prime Minister 1964-70 & 74-76.

 

The Monday Morning Quote #423

On this day in 1964 Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment, during the Rivonia Trial Mr Mandela chose, instead of testifying, to make a speech from the dock and proceeded to hold the court spellbound for more than four hours. His speech, which was made at the beginning of the defence case, ended with the words:

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

 

Winnie Mandela, wife of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, escorts his mother Nosekeni Fanny through a police cordon outside the court in Pretoria, South Africa, June 11, 1964, where he was a defendant in the treason trial. Mandela was found guilty on all four counts and together with six others, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Peter Ward exposes the NHS(E)’s “Cunning Plan”

Nice editorial in the BDJ from BDA Chief Exec Peter Ward. HERE

Edited highlights only

Death by commissioning

….That master plan looks like a determined effort to wrest away NHS dental care from small autonomous units. That model that has been supplied by a legion of conscientious practitioners ever since the beginning of the NHS. This applies both in salaried dental service and in general practice.…….

….’Savings’ is the name of the game. That coupled with ongoing ‘efficiency’ signals a race to the bottom, as each year becomes more and more squeezed than the last. It can’t be long before the social enterprises seek freedom from the obligations of NHS terms and conditions – think about the savings to be had there!…..

…..So, it is clear that the NHS in England stands to gain by ‘going large’ in all its areas of practice. But its gain is at the expense of the dentists who serve it. In essence, the wholesale dismantling of access to NHS terms and conditions provides the opportunity for savings. Proposing such a move overtly would be met with horror and outrage. Doing it stealthily and by downstream consequence may be less dramatic but the result is the same. It is not a good result for either dentists practising in England, or for patients expecting enduring, high quality care…

If only it was as easy to dismiss as Baldrick…

 

The Monday Morning Quote #417

“Every nation gets the politicians it deserves.”

Joseph de Maistre

Playing the “What If” game.

I delivered my presentation, “Is Dentistry Making You Sick?” in Gloucestershire a couple of days ago and introduced a game that I suggest participants play with their teams and partners. It’s called “What If” and the rules are simple in the extreme, you come up with the most unlikely thing that you can imagine and make plans on how you will deal with it on a personal and business level. Then move on to the second most unlikely and so on – I think you get the drift.

Visualise scenarios, research, plan and rehearse.

The example I used was of the owner of a 95% NHS dental practice who had been planning for the new NHS contract to replace the shameful 2006 edition, it has been promised over and over by successive governments. The contract will emphasise prevention and have a level of capitation payments. It will have been trialled and tested and approved by the BDA.

The What If game when played on Monday at 9am would have had them wake up one day and discover that the government had called a general election in order to concentrate on Brexit. The side effects of the likely victory would be to railroad their austerity programme through until 2022 and also enable them to kick any positive change in the dental contract into the the longest of long grass until who knows when.

Now what would you do if that happened – apart from ringing Lily Head?

What If – what’s next?

NHS urged to share data so patients can be deported

If an NHS doctor divulged personal information about a patient, they could be struck off. But the government pays the NHS to do just this. A patient’s name, date of birth and address are among the data which are passed on to the Home Office. If you are in the UK illegally, they can find you and force you onto a secret chartered plane before your lawyer has even had breakfast.

Buried in the recent constitutional uproar over the triggering of Article 50 and President Donald Trump’s flurry of objectionable executive orders, was the news that the NHS has been passing on data to the Home Office so it can track down people who are living in the country illegally and deport them.

From The Conversation Continues here

I am reminded of Martin Niemöller’s words which start, “First they came for…”

 

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