Home News SG Politics Public dental visits: No increase, but population up 1.5m?

Public dental visits: No increase, but population up 1.5m?

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By: Leong Sze Hian

I refer to the article “Not enough locally trained dentists in Singapore” (Straits Times, Feb 11).

75% of newly registered dentists trained overseas

It states that “In recent years, locally trained dentists make up less than half the new dentists registered each year.

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In 2014, for example, 141 – or 75 per cent – of newly registered dentists were trained overseas. Only 46 – or 25 per cent – were local graduates.”

Demand of dental care to grow

As to “A Ministry of Health (MOH) spokesman said the demand for dental care is projected to grow in the coming years” – in 2001, visits to public sector dental clinics was 983,792.

Public dental attendances hardly grew in 14 years – population grew 1.5m?

According to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) web site – Attendances at Public Sector Dental Clinicsin 2015 was 996,800.

So, why is it that the visits to public sector dental clinics has remained almost the same comparing 2015 to 2001, whilst the population grew by about 1.5 million during the same period?

Public dental healthcare is practically non-existent?

Is it any wonder that people say that public dental healthcare is practically non-existent in Singapore, as one may have to make an appointment which may be typically months in advance?

Chas subsidies – Orange card – No subsidy for 11 common procedures?

As to “But with subsidies from the Community Health Assist and Pioneer Generation schemes, poorer patients can turn to private dental care” – there is no subsidy for 11 (the most common) out of the 19 dental procedures for Chas orange card holders.

What % of Chas are Orange?

In this connection, what percentage of Chas cards are orange ones? About 40 per cent?

According to the article “One in two Singapore kids has rotten teeth: Report” (Straits Times, May 15, 2014) –

More than half and more children with rotten teeth?

“More than half of all children in Singapore have one or more rotten teeth by the time they start primary school.

A report on the oral health of schoolchildren found that the proportion of children with dental caries at the age of seven had gone up from 47.6 per cent in 2003, to 50.6 per cent last year.”

Public fees much higher than private clinics?

According to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) web site’s Average Fee for Dental Procedures – 6 out of the 8 dental procedures listed show that the fees at public institutions are substantially higher than private dental clinics.

For example, for

Crowns (Capping)

Crowns (Capping) – Single Unit*
Public Institutions $650 – $786
Private Dental Clinics $400 – $2,140
 More»

Full Dentures

Full Dentures – Per Arch*
Public Institutions $521 – $707
Private Dental Clinics $150 – $2,140
 More»

Impacted Wisdom Tooth Surgery

Impacted Wisdom Tooth Surgery – Per Tooth
Public Institutions $600 – $825
Private Dental Clinics $400 – $2,140
 More»

Implants

Implants – Per Unit
Public Institutions $1,600 – $1,944
Private Dental Clinics $2,000 – $4,815
 More»

Orthodontics (Braces)

Orthodontics (Braces) – Two Jaws, Non-Surgical
Public Institutions $3,000 – $4,870
Private Dental Clinics $2,000 – $10,700
 More»

Root Canal Treatment – Anterior Tooth

Root Canal Treatment (Anterior Tooth) – Per Tooth*
Public Institutions $272 – $353
Private Dental Clinics $400 – $856
 More»

Root Canal Treatment – Molar Tooth

Root Canal Treatment (Molar Tooth) – Per Tooth*
Public Institutions $678 – $815
Private Dental Clinics $400 – $1,605
 More»

Root Canal Treatment – Pre-molar Tooth

Root Canal Treatment (Pre-molar Tooth) – Per Tooth*
Public Institutions $424 – $501
Private Dental Clinics $400 – $1,284
 More»

 

How is it possible that the cost of dental treatment at a public dental institution can be more than 50% (as much as 247 per cent for Full Dentures – Per Arch) of that charged by private dental clinics?

Uniquely Singapore!

Are there any countries that have this strange phenomena?

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

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