When facing a scientific or even commercial evolution, the focus of healthcare professions’ deontology is unchanged : patient’s protection prevails.

In the latest edition of HPCB newsletter, Dr Orlando Monteiro da Silva, President of Ordem dos Médicos Dentistas, Chair of FEDCAR, reports on it.

FEDCAR advocates indeed that ethics apply to the dental practitioner regardless of their status – whether practicing as an employee or a liberal profession. They should also apply to his or her employer, whatever the social form and the origin of its capital are – whether a clinic or a chain. This concern is addressed by the latest joint declaration adopted by FEDCAR members following their meeting in Porto on 10 May, hosted by the Ordem dos Médicos Dentistas, the Portuguese Dental Chamber.

Corporate dentistry is not in place in all 28 EU countries. And when it is, patients do not automatically have a favorable experience. Some worst case scenarios have been

reported to FEDCAR in Spain or in France, such as “There can be a tension between the commercial focus of a business to generate profit and the obligations on regulated professionals to act ethically. The priorities of commercial entities do not naturally align with the objective of providing patient care”. Furthermore, in the single market, the alert mechanism for the sharing of sanctions restricting or prohibiting a professional activity applies only to practitioners, not to corporations (see Article 56a of revised Directive 2005/36 on the recognition of professional qualifications). However, corporate dentistry is certainly likely to increase in Europe.

For FEDCAR, it is therefore appropriate to call on the EU
and its new legislature “to introduce an appropriate form of regulation, which includes the ability to sanction, that obliges commercial and collective entities to respect and support the professional’s legal and ethical obligations in the best interests of patients”.