New legal framework for the business of dentistry
 

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New legal framework for the business of dentistry

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New legal framework for the business of dentistry

 

New legal framework for the business of dentistry

New legal reforms coming into effect on 31 July will give new companies the right to offer dental services to people for the first time in 50 years. Since 1956, new companies have been banned from offering dental services to people under the rules of the Dentists Act. Changes coming into force at the end of the month will end that.

Under the new reforms, any company or dental bodies corporate (DBC) wanting to carry out the ‘business of dentistry’ will be able to. This is on the condition that they comply with rules laid out by the General Dental Council (GDC).

Council rulings state that DBCs will only be able to offer dental services if the majority of its directors are registered with the GDC as dentists or dental care professionals. If not, the company concerned will be committing an offence.

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive and registrar at the GDC, said: ‘All corporate bodies will need to ensure the majority of directors on its board are GDC-registered dental professionals – either dentists or dental care professionals.

‘Compliance with this requirement is essential as it is this which will give a corporate body the right to carry on the business of dentistry. A company which carries on the business of dentistry without such a majority on the board will be committing a criminal offence.’

Dentists and DCPs that have been suspended or struck off from the GDC register will be committing an offence if they are employed as directors too. The GDC will also be keeping a list of all the DBCs carrying out the business of dentistry. Those on the list will be required to submit an annual return to the council providing basic information about the company, its staff and directors.

This will include the addresses of the company and its directors. The names and workplace details of all the dentists and DCPs working for the DBC will also be needed in order to maintain the list. The GDC will be asking companies to pay an as yet undisclosed fee. Those who don’t pay the fee or supply the required information could be fined up to £5,000 by the council’s Professional Conduct Committee.

Linda Wallace, director of professional services at the British Dental Association, said: ‘These changes to the Dentists Act could have interesting implications for the way the dental market is structured. Any practitioner seeking to change the structure of their business as a result of these changes must take advice from their accountant and solicitor.’

 Posted on : Mon 3rd - Jul - 2006

 

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