For those who think government will pay for all medical and dental care, think again. I guess it is a good idea to promise 'free for all' but someone has to pay and nothing is really for free. Eventually taxes go up and rationing of services begins. Free enterprise is gone and so are doctors and dentist.
HIGH dental costs are turning people away from having treatment, the Cour des Comptes audit body says. One person in seven stopped dental work for financial reasons in 2006. In all, 63 per cent of all cases where people cancelled health treatments involved dental care, against 25 per cent for spectacles or contact lenses and 16 per cent for specialist consultants.
The auditors said dental care was now out of reach of a high proportion of the population and the Sécurité Sociale was paying for only a third of the €9 billion costs of dentistry; whereas in 1980, it paid for half.
For a three-tooth bridge a patient would pay up to €2,290 while the cost to the dentist was €345 and the reimbursement €195.
The Cour des Comptes said the payment for dentists was too high – €4.2bn in 2006 as against €2.1bn for doctors – and that mutuelles should get more of a in dental estimates. Dentists should also be cutting costs by employing assistants to do standard work such as scaling and polishing.
France has more dentists per 100,000 people than the rest of Europe ; 65 per 100,000 as against 61 per 100,000, but that is set to fall severely and the audit report forecast there would be only 40 dentists per 100,000 by 2030.
In addition, dentists are very poorly distributed round the country.