Dental tourism IDA


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IDA metropolitan branch 26 Feb 2010

Dr Anne O'Donoghue

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Dental tourism IDA

  1. 1. Dental Tourism/Competition:threat or opportunity?<br />Dr Anne O’Donoghue<br />Metropolitan Branch, Irish Dental Association<br />26 February 2010<br />
  2. 2. Dental tourism is worldwide <br />
  3. 3. … has become part of the landscape<br />
  4. 4. facilitated by the Internet<br />Self-Diagnosis<br />False empowerment of patients<br />Misuse of information<br />No watchdog<br />
  5. 5. Dentists say…<br />Cheap and nasty—poor quality!!<br />Providers not held to same standard as here<br />Patients not aware of quality<br />Unfair competition (cost, advertising)<br />Patients pressurised <br />Over-treatment <br />They get the money, I get landed with the problems<br />Any Data?<br />
  6. 6. Over-treatment<br />Bargain + opportunity<br />= buy things you don’t need<br />
  7. 7. Ireland and dental tourism<br />Northern Ireland is the No. 1 destination for Irish patients, followed by Eastern Europe<br />Treatment: non-critical, cosmetic/higher cost, e.g. implants instead of dentures<br />Source: RevaHealth 2010<br />
  8. 8. For patients…<br />Overwhelmingly positive reports<br />Source: RevaHealth Consumer survey 2009<br />
  9. 9. For patients…<br />Cost is the main driver<br />78% of patients rated price as 8-10/10 in importance<br />Source: RevaHealth Consumer survey 2008<br />
  10. 10. Good quality is assumed<br />Believe the guarantees<br />No objective data<br />For patients…<br />“I have heard good reports about Hungary and Turkey BUT Northern Ireland - Come Off It. This is not going abroad. It's going up the road where standards of work are the same if not better and cost is about a quarter of what you'd pay here. People go abroad because Irish dentists are simply exorbitant to the point where they are pricing themselves out of the market.” –Irish <br />
  11. 11. For patients…<br /><ul><li>Attractive packaging and marketing
  12. 12. Perceived as time efficient</li></li></ul><li>For patients...<br />Attractive deals<br /> are offered<br />
  13. 13. Feeling of empowerment<br />Strike back against ‘rip-off’<br />Lack of access at home=no option<br />For patients…<br />“It is in the interest of Irish Dentists to be critical of work carried out by practitioners with whom they are in competition and whose prices compare so favourablywith their own … Irish dentists are running scared.”-Irish <br />
  14. 14. For patients...<br />Perceive foreign clinics as being more proactive in marketing and patient contact prior to treatment<br />Can combine treatment with holidays = better mindset for treatment<br />
  15. 15. The media<br />Reporters follow a script<br />A good, populist story<br />
  16. 16. The media<br />Dentists here are not popular—’you would say that’<br />No analysis of problems<br />Absence of hard data<br />
  17. 17. Providers say...<br />‘consumers’ vs ‘patients’<br />No evidence of difference in quality<br />Offer patient choice<br />High patient satisfaction<br />Irish dentists don’t see the satisfied patients<br />
  18. 18. Providers say...<br />They are quick to respond-Irish base<br />Seen poor dentistry from Ireland<br />Worry about inflation, € and travel costs<br />
  19. 19. Is dental tourism a problem?<br />Patients have a right to choose <br />Cannot realistically compete on price or can we ?<br />Patients are changing faster than we are<br />Dentistry becoming a commodity—not health <br />We are losing in communication <br />
  20. 20. Dental tourism – opportunities?<br />Very few patients want to travel for dental care<br />Patients not fully informed<br />Are patients willing to accept less for less?<br />Dental Tourism is price sensitive<br />Source: RevaHealth<br />
  21. 21. What should we do?<br />Emphasise our strengths-EDUCATE<br />Talk about health carevs customer care<br />Cost conscious as possible<br />Re-examine our attitude to marketing<br />
  22. 22. What should we do?<br />Be aware of the power of the media for communication – use this to our benefit<br />Discussion forums<br />e.g.<br />
  23. 23. What should we do?<br />Improve communication & representation<br />Online visibility<br />Yahoo answers<br />Websites<br />FAQs<br />
  24. 24. What should we do?<br />Improve availability, approachability & flexibility<br />Opening hours<br />Waiting room info<br />Patient education<br />
  25. 25. Be informed & up-to date<br />Important for the whole team<br />NB Staff training which can be in-house (free)<br />What should we do?<br />
  26. 26. Be aware of local competition & patient insurance options<br />What should we do?<br />Family Care <br /><ul><li>Emergency dental treatment for and immediately following an accident: up to €510 for restorative treatment
  27. 27. The cost of one non-emergency dental treatment each year, up to a maximum of €25</li></li></ul><li>Cultivate communication with the media – seminars, spokesperson etc<br />Communicate the reality of dental tourism<br />Negative aspects i.e. over-treatment, accountability<br />Price comparisons i.e. the same in North as South?<br />IDA to establish definitive objective comparison based on prices and quality of service<br />What should we do?<br />
  28. 28. Develop clear and consistent guidelines for patients<br />Support robust quality control at home & abroad<br />Independent research-what patients want/expect<br />What should we do?<br />
  29. 29. Raise public awareness of the IDA<br />Highlight the importance of a united front of professionals<br />Be responsible for incorporating the entire dental team/network<br />Standardise practitioner & patient info<br />Change ingrained attitudes <br />What should we do?<br />
  30. 30. Take home message<br />Patient communication<br />Waiting room information<br />Informed dental team<br />Efficient communication<br />Objective research<br />Professional visibility<br />Online representation (website, forums etc)<br />United front under IDA<br />
  31. 31. Dental Council of European Union <br />Meeting April 10th 2010 Dublin<br />Topic under discussion: protection for patients <br />