Tuesday, 16 April, 2024

05 Mar 2013 | Press Release

news > News and Events > Page 1

Another example of private health insurers' focus on profit

The Australian Dental Association Inc. (ADA) has condemned news of private health insurer Westfund employing overseas trained dentists to staff its new dental clinic in MacKay, Queensland, while there is an oversupply of dentists in Australia.


"Private health insurers have already received a big win from the Federal Health Minister's recent announcement of health insurance premium increases. We now see a private health insurer trying to push their profit margins further by taking dentists from areas where they are needed overseas disregarding the fact that we have an oversupply of locally qualified dentists. This is immoral and un-Australian," President of the ADA, Dr Karin Alexander, said.

The Facts:

1. In the last 11 years private health insurers have returned profits from ancillary cover of approximately $7.4 billion.

2. The latest report on Dental Workforce showed that dentist numbers increased over 21% in the 5 years 2006 to 2011 so that there were over 14,000 dentists in Australia. Since 2011, with the increase in dental schools, there has been a further increase in dentist graduates each year. The Australian Council of Dental Schools indicates there will be 920 graduates in 2013 from dental and oral health programs. The 2012 Grad Stats Survey results released in late December show that only 83.6% of dentists were in full-time employment at the time of the survey.

3. Many countries that overseas graduate dentists are recruited from have shortages of dentists.

"No doubt private health insurers, focusing on their bottom line, recruit overseas trained dentists because they believe their productivity is greater than recent graduates. However, private health insurers ignore the investment (in both time and money) Australian students have made in training to be a dentist.

"The ADA always supports the role of overseas skilled migration in alleviating workforce shortages. However, Australia is experiencing an oversupply of dentists, and so if private health insurers want to recruit dentists for their practices in rural Australia, they should be obligated to tap into Australia's resources first before looking overseas. The Australian Government's investment in university places for dentist students and the financial incentives it offers to encourage Australians to obtain private health cover must place an obligation on private health insurers and other recruiters to utilise Australian university graduates before accessing overseas trained dentists.

"In times of fiscal restraint Australia must ensure that its investment in education and training of all dental practitioners is economically sound and that those graduating have a place in the community to ensure that that investment is repaid and not wasted. There is no need for private health insurers and other recruiters to go off-shore to find a dentist workforce. Local graduates must be utilised first," Dr Alexander concluded.

Related Contacts

CAD/CAM

Abstracts

Management

One Man's Opinion

Stream the latest dental videos...
How the market may influence your home buying strategy

Sponsored Links...

Upcoming Events...

Apr 16 2024

Dentists Behaving 'Very' Badly

Brisbane, AUSTRALIA

Apr 19 2024
Apr 19 2024

IDEM Singapore 2024

Singapore, SINGAPORE

Apr 23 2024
Apr 24 2024
May 01 2024
May 02 2024
May 09 2024
May 11 2024
May 14 2024
May 22 2024
May 24 2024
May 29 2024
May 30 2024
May 31 2024

Scottish Dental Show 2024

Glasgow, UNITED KINGDOM

May 31 2024

Famdent Show Mumbai 2024

Mumbai, INDIA

Jun 01 2024
Jun 06 2024
Jun 09 2024
Jun 11 2024
Jun 22 2024
Jul 13 2024
Jul 16 2024
Jul 25 2024
Aug 23 2024
Aug 29 2024

Practical Endodontics Workshop

Sydney, AUSTRALIA

Sep 07 2024
Sep 14 2024
Sep 26 2024
Oct 03 2024
Oct 10 2024
Oct 17 2024

ADOHTA 2024 National Congress

Sydney, AUSTRALIA

Oct 24 2024
Nov 13 2024
Nov 29 2024
Mar 25 2025

IDS 2025

Cologne, GERMANY

May 08 2025