Dental Council gone AWOL?



Sister Mercedes

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They can only regulate dentists who are registered. That seems like an, um, flaw in the legislation.

“The issue is that the Dental Council can only uphold complaints against registered dentists – we do not monitor dental clinics as under the 1985 Dentists Act, anyone can setup a surgery without registering,” said David O'Flynn.

“As Mr Kiss was never registered, or ever tried to register, with the Dental Council, his activities have gone unnoticed until now.”
Bogus dentist vanishes without a trace leaving patients with expensive bills
 

Lúidín

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Irish officialdom's answer to any question is: "what do you want to know for?"
 

Hillmanhunter1

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Irish officialdom's answer to any question is: "what do you want to know for?"
Well, as an Irish citizen and taxpayer, I would like to know if the Dental Council, which was established by law for the purpose of promoting high standards of professional education and professional conduct among dentists, is doing its job.

I know that this is a contrary question to be asking, and I get the strong impression that those on the Council and in the profession take the view that this is a matter that should be left to my betters, but I suppose I just have that contrary gene.

Thanks to Sister Mercedes we now know at least who is a member of the Dental Council. There are 19 members in all. That struck me as a big number until I saw that that there are 21 members of the Bar Council of Ireland, 25 members of the Medical Council, and a quite extraordinary 46 members on the Council of the Law Society! By comparison, the average size of the Board of the 10 largest companies in the world is 11! Anyway, I digress.

Now that we know who is a member of the Dental Council the next question must be what do they do? We should know, because Section 57 of the Dentists Act, 1985 states that "The Council shall as soon as may be after the end of each year in which it is in office prepare and publish a report of its proceedings under this Act during the preceding year".

I asked the Dental Council (under an FoI request) for a copy of their most recent annual report. I was sent a copy of the financial statements for 2014. When I pointed out that this was the wrong document I was sent a report for the 2012 year. That indicates to me that the Dental Council has failed to fulfill its statutory obligation under Section 57 for each of the years 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Section 15 of the Act says that if the Council fails, neglects or refuses to perform any function assigned to it under this Act, the Minister may, by order, direct the Council to discharge that function..... If the Council fails to comply with any direction of the Minister contained in an order made by him under subsection (1) of this section, the Minister may, by order, remove from office the members of the Council.

I have written to the Department of Health enquiring as to why the Minister has not removed the Council from office. I await their response with bated breath!
 
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Lúidín

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Is there a money trail here? Do board members get expenses or other rewards? I'm sure they don't get paid as that would be far too vulgar for these professionals but I suspect there are other benefits to being a member of the board.
 

Hillmanhunter1

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Is there a money trail here? Do board members get expenses or other rewards? I'm sure they don't get paid as that would be far too vulgar for these professionals but I suspect there are other benefits to being a member of the board.
I don't think that there's any great monetary reward for serving on the Council. The Dentists Act, 1985 doesn't provide for payments to Council members other than "such allowances for travelling and subsistence expenses incurred in respect of his attendance at a meeting of the Council or of a committee or otherwise in connection with the affairs of the Council as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for the Public Service, may determine". In 2014 the Member's Expenses came to Euro26,142. Assuming there were 19 members of the Council at that time that comes to an average of Euro1,376 per Member. Not to be sniffed at, but hardly an incentive for highly paid people to serve either.

The Dental Council is effectively a self-regulatory body in the guise of a statutory body. 12 of the 19 members are dentists of one variety or another. History everywhere shows us that, given the choice, individuals and groups will try to structure the markets in which they operated in order to maximise their margins at least effort to themselves.

This is perhaps the real benefit, not to individual dentists, but to the profession as a whole, of serving on and controlling the Dental Council.

Interestingly, I see that the Medical Council and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland now both have a majority of members who are not members of the respective professions.

Only the dentists, it seems, hold dear to the old practices.
 

Orbit v2

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I know a few people who get all their dental treatment on the Costa del Sol. Spanish dentists are just as good (maybe better) as Irish ones and significantly cheaper. Pay for your holiday with the saving.
 

Toland

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I know a few people who get all their dental treatment on the Costa del Sol. Spanish dentists are just as good (maybe better) as Irish ones and significantly cheaper. Pay for your holiday with the saving.
When my now wife was in Germany, her experience with dentist was not a positive one.

When I got to Germany my experience was fine, until late 2008 that is, when my dentist thought it appropriate to lecture me on responsible fiscal policy while I had my mouth jammed open for tooth cleaning. It was not a comfortable experience.

The dental assistant was amused though!
 

Orbit v2

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When my now wife was in Germany, her experience with dentist was not a positive one.

When I got to Germany my experience was fine, until late 2008 that is, when my dentist thought it appropriate to lecture me on responsible fiscal policy while I had my mouth jammed open for tooth cleaning. It was not a comfortable experience.

The dental assistant was amused though!
When I lived there, I knew people who would ask for no anasthaesia when getting fillings. The idea of that has put me off German dentistry.
 

Hillmanhunter1

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For the sake of transparency I too have had extensive dental work performed abroad - in Budapest, over 5 years ago.

I was very happy with the price and the treatment.
 


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