Don’t buy parachutes from Ebay

Don’t buy parachutes from Ebay

I thought the label would get your attention 🙂  More on parachutes at the end of this blog.

I am proud to announce that I have been elected to the Federal Australian Dental Association (ADA) Council.  I became actively involved with the ADA  years ago because I wanted to make a difference.  I had become disillusioned with what governments and others were doing to my profession.

At a state level I am a member of the ADA NSW Council as well as the Executive Committee.  I am Chairman of the Dental Practice Committee and Deputy Chairman of the North Eastern division of ADA NSW (after being Chairman for 13 years).   I am also Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the ADA NSW Convention which will be held in Port Macquarie in September 2014.

So why do I do it?  Governments and regulators like the ACCC thought it would be in your interest to remove restrictions on advertising for professionals, allow corporations or health funds to own dental practices  and open our country to any overseas trained dentist to move here (even though there is an oversupply of dentists in Australia).  Has this helped provide quality dental care and protected the public?  I will contend no it has not, indeed I believe just the opposite has happened.

Advertising on television, radio (or even on buses for goodness sake) has not only lowered the status and integrity of the profession IMHO it has created an environment where less than ethical individuals could promote themselves to the detriment of less flamboyant but caring dentists.  Over supply of dentists does not drive prices down it encourages poor behaviour and under employment.  If someone offers you $400 worth of treatment for $99, do you really think they are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts or will they make their money from you with other treatment recommendations?

I am getting closer to explaining the tag line at the beginning of this bog.  I often use the expression “don’t look for bargains in health care or parachutes”.  It means that with health care you should not seek the cheapest provider but rather a person who your family and friends have recommended to you.  Someone who has a reputation for being skilful and caring.  In my time as a dentist for 30 years I have seen the transformation from fear of the dentist to looking for who is the cheapest.  To be blunt there is cheap and their is good value, I don’t think I need to explain the difference.

So whats this about parachutes?  Would you buy a parachute from Ebay “used only once, the blood will wash out”?  No you would not (I hope).  Common sense should tell you to beware a deal that seems too good to be true.  When you choose a dentist ask your friends and family who is good, caring and a person they trust.  Don’t choose a dentist from the television or radio or the biggest add in the newspaper.