Dentists are a dying breed in the Public Health Sector
It is common knowledge that the Public Health Sector is severely understaffed and under immense pressure with the infrastructure not coping with the amount of care actually needed.
The increasingly low amount of specialised medical practitioners, including Dentists, is often overlooked in the public sector.
According to SA Health Review 2017 there are over 5 500 positions that have been lost over the past four years with some provinces like the Eastern Cape and the North West boasting a total of zero dental specialists in the public sector and other provinces like Free State, Kwazulu-Natal and Mpumalanga having one each. As a countrywide total this equates to two and a half dentists for every 100 000 South African Citizens in the public sector.
Even within the private sector, dentists and specialised dentistry has decreased steadily, from the 7.4% reported by the Council for Medical Schemes in 1998 to the 2.8% reported in 2015. This is attributed to the rising costs of medical expenses but also to the exclusion by most medical schemes from paying these benefits. Specialised Dentistry expenses, if not excluded from medical schemes, are paid out of a Medical Savings Account.
Using a more affordable Dental Insurance can help cover the gap for some of the most common dental requirements. By managing visits and benefits carefully, as well as making use of a Dentist Network, we make access to dentistry care something that is viable for the average South African.