The Barbados Dental Association (BDA) continues to press for the removal of duties and taxes on all dental equipment and supplies.
President Dr Vidya Armogan used the occasion of World Oral Health Day on Friday to renew the BDA’s appeal to Government for such a waiver which he said would not only ensure access for ordinary Barbadians to the latest technologies, but at an affordable price.
“With duties and taxes imposed on equipment and supplies, coupled with shipping, insurance, transportation, installation and oftentimes the importation of technical staff, the cost becomes prohibitive,” Dr Armagon said during a news conference today at which he further pointed out that “when [dental] practices make the decision to invest in these technologies, the cost from the patient becomes quite steep”.
The BDA is also seeking to make it mandatory for dentists to complete a special board examination before they are allowed to register.
With many offshore dental schools popping up in the region, the BDA also feels that a regional examination needs to be set up for those persons choosing to practise in any Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state.
And, in an attempt to ensure that practising dentists remain on the cutting edge, the BDA has called for each dentist to acquire a certain amount of continuing credits before being able to be registered.
In his statement today, Armogan applauded the recent decision of some insurance companies not only raise their limits for dental care from $1 000 per annum to $2 500 per annum, but to allow their clients to use that sum towards any kind of dental treatment.
On the issue of fees, he said the association wanted to create a schedule of fees in order to keep the public informed of what was a reasonable price to pay for dental care.
However, he said unfortunately the Fair Trading Commission had advised that such action could be construed as an illegal act.
The president expressed pride that the dental profession had managed to maintain the integrity and trust placed in them.