All over the world, dental care has a reputation of being costly, very similar to Pakistan. With no sign of health care system, people have limited options to choose between public or private dental care options. Though public sectors provide reasonable prices for the treatment, but the queue to reach the dental chair is way too long for patients. Hence in such scenario, Patients get privately treated or from a renowned ‘Dactar’.
But both types of treatment come with a price, figuratively and literally.
While on one hand, quacks have flexible rate options, mainly because of low standards of equipment and practice. On the other hand, private dentists are bound to charge highly. Even if they cut their consultation fees, they still have to make up for the cost of the dental materials and rents of the clinics. This also includes the additional salary for the extra help in the clinic. And in the end, the dentist has to make up for the financial investment he had done on his dental education and clinical skills acquired through hard work.
Thus in the end, quality dental care leaves ones wallet empty, but teeth healthy!
Hence, the government and health care organizations should work together to make dental care affordable. At the earliest, the concerned officials need to increase the setup of public dental health care. The long waiting hours can only be shortened, if the dental related facilities are formed according to the population of the locality. Government should also make plans to facilitate private dentists. This can be done by giving extra leverage to dental care providers in terms of dental materials, rent and other modalities. This will surely lowered the cost of treatment in both private and public sector. Those dentist who want to spread ‘dental charities’ among community, can avail from this opportunity.
In the long term, Government should start a health care system, which at least provide basic dental treatments which is affordable and at standard. This would help patients to not go to quacks and avoid self-medication. If the patient get treated in time, then the amount of tooth loss can be saved. Thus lessening the chances of putting human life at risk.
By Dr Muattar Hanif