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The Forum > Article Comments > The medical profession must abide by competition law too > Comments

The medical profession must abide by competition law too : Comments

By Sitesh Bhojani, published 12/12/2002

Sitesh Bhojani argues the medical profession is also a business and therefore regulated by trade practices

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The debate about professional competition concentrates on price which misses the point about quality. The feeding frenzy by big money to break down the walls of professional cottage practices by using the catchcry competition is actually a ploy to distract the public from the greedy realisation by corporations that there is more profit to be made in health than selling hamburgers and that the venture capitalists and insurance companies have created blanket bombing tactics using lingo of chain supply control, maximising profits and integration of information when really, they want to create a chain of health practitioners like Mr Minute Man shops, controlled by mega corporations generating handsome profits by exploiting indigenous workers. The sole practitioner is the cheapest model of health delivery. Add layers of marketing, lawyers, accountants and IT supervisors and it will be cheaper? Pull the other one. Dentistry is going to be taken over by the third party purchaser - insurance companies. Is this in the public interest? No. There are many shortcuts that can be instituted to reduce the price, but the 110 years of regulated practice has ALWAYS placed quality above price because dentistry is an asymmetrical market and the consumer would not know if I placed a white gold crown or a white nickle crown. So with price as the new God, consumers will suffer as the provider is screwed by the insurance company who want dentists in WA to sign a 1 paragraph "contract" freezing their fees into time's ulu with no due process, no transparency, no legal protection other than a committee of faceless men forming a Star Chamber. If this is progress, if this is not going to warp the market and if it is in the public interest, then I know nothing about dentistry after 32 years of practice. The public are going to be sitting ducks, all at the behest of the madness called competition policy. Dentistry in WA has been the most excellent and it is poised to become screwed down, screwed up and dangerous.
Posted by Big Julie, Friday, 24 December 2004 1:34:08 PM
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