Source Diário de Notícias September 20, 2007
Fact – around half the population in Portugal don’t go to the dentist, because they can’t afford it. The trouble seems to be that there are so many dentists, that they are short of work, and consequently they have to charge high prices to make a living … part of the problem of being in the private health sector.
Madeira currently has 124 dentists, working out about one dentist for every 2,000 people. By 2010, Portugal is predicted to have one dentist for very 1,180 people, and that works out at 212 dentists on Madeira.
If you though dentists were expensive already, imagine the position in 2010, though you might save on travelling expenses, as there is sure to be one in your street.
Now, if dentists could find a way of encouraging the half of the population that never go to the dentist to come, through sensible pricing, wouldn’t that help to balance the situation a little? You might agree or not, but the way the ‘Order of Dentists’ has decided to tackle it is to petition the Government to either remove or reduce IVA (VAT) by 5% on toothpaste, claiming it is a product essential for oral health.