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Final warning for dentists from minister as fees rise nearly 10%

Monday 25 June 2012

Health minister Edith Schippers on Monday told dentists to cut their fees or face having pricing brought back under government control.

Dentists have been free to determine their own charges since the beginning of the year, a move Schippers said would improve quality and lead to lower charges.

However, fees went up an average 9.6% in the first three months of this year, according to research by the national health authority NZa. An ordinary check-up has gone up by an average 3.1% while crowns are some 18.5% more expensive to place, the NZa survay showed.

Most dental insurance policies only cover a fixed amount of money, leaving patients to make up the difference.

Last chance

Schippers has commissioned new research which will be completed in the autumn. If prices have not come down by then, the government will once again set the fees, she said. The NZa has already been asked to start the preparations.

Insurance company VGZ said in February dentists were abusing the system by increasing their charges up to 10%. Research by Nos television also indicated fees had gone up sharply.

However, the dentists' lobby group NMT says insurance companies have put up the cost of dental insurance while reducing coverage.

Is your dentist and dental insurance good value for money? Have your say in the comments box below.

© DutchNews.nl

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Readers' comments (13)

I had to call 5 dentists before finding one that would take new patients. In France I go for a cleaning twice a year, and it takes 10 minutes. In the fall I decided to go to the dentist here. Result? They insisted that the cleaning must be done in 3x30 minute sessions (?!!?) and that I needed an xray. Final bill, 215€! A rip off! This spring I went to the dentist during a trip home, and only paid 27€ for it, covered by my french insurance. I heard from friends that go to the same dutch dentist that prices have gone up drastically since January. Don't get me started on the crappy dutch dental insurance...

By Sedirea | June 25, 2012 9:12 AM

the prices are shocking in NL, i fly to hungry for dental work done. root canal cost about 200 euro there. here is around 800.

By colin | June 25, 2012 10:13 AM

WHAT a surprise! who would have though? The Health minister would probably be the last one to know that an average person would NOT change a dentist simply because the prices went up 10-30% ... it is NOT a supermarket, not it is the bank. One has to GO to a dentist (distance) and only do it 1-2 times a year ... so why wouldn't the dentists go up in price when they can?

By Name | June 25, 2012 10:34 AM

yes its true dentist charge pple beyond reasonable price nd it happen to me this morning......and i ll never go back again to dentist easily....

By khalid | June 25, 2012 12:40 PM

So rise the vat, the eigen risico, cut all kinds of subsidies, but then let the dentists fill their pockets ( i don't think they were really in need,...) and the insurance companies abuse the system, they should go back to the prior system right now, it should never had been changed anyway. Anybody could have foreseen this ,except the one in charge,...Everything this cabinet does, goes against the common sens, yet people seem once again ready to vote for them,...

By JulesC | June 25, 2012 1:58 PM

So Dentists put up their price because Insurance companies have put up the cost of the dental insurance that I pay for? Seems a smart move by them, but I have always thought dentists were a bit more commercially savvy than the local doctor. Desired result of leaving me walking with a limp is achieved.

By Dr Ponzi | June 25, 2012 2:28 PM

In an area of the market like Dentistry, where competition is slack, is it any surprise that charges have escalated?

By Gemma | June 25, 2012 4:33 PM

What the Dutch government thinks will happen: quality improves, prices go down.

What actually happens: prices go up.

How WRONG can this government continue to get it? (Almost) all Dutch News readers predicted the impact of this hare-brained government scheme. I'm hoping my teeth need nothing more than a checkup until it's brought back under control (or I'll head to a private clinic in Eastern Europe before these greedy Dutch tandarts get a cent from me)

By osita | June 25, 2012 5:37 PM

Last checkup was in March in the Philippines, very content with the prices there.

Have not seen my dentist in NL for about 2 years now, even though I pay the insurance. 40 euros just to look in my mouth, are you kidding?! Cartel?

By The visitor | June 25, 2012 10:44 PM

What a joke, as if having dentists setting there own pricing will lead to prices coming down- What planet does Edith Schippers, the VVD and the rest of our out of touch political class live on? I guess they can still afford to go to the dentist though.

By Phil | June 26, 2012 4:23 AM

Just came back from the dentist in a east-european country. Perfect and cheap.
I am registered at a dutch dentist, just because I saw too many friends who had dental emergencies not being visited because not registered.
The only time I went for a cleaning it had to be done in 2 sessions of 40 min (160 euros total) and the lady claimed I had a terrible paradontosis, which none of my other 2 dentists ever (and still) haven't diagnosed. It is all about money, not about my health.

By joanna | June 26, 2012 8:17 AM

And nobody but the government was at all surprised.

It's cheaper for me to fly back to the UK and get any remotely significant work done than it is to get it done here. Never mind that the Dutch dentists are rough, nasty butchers with no bedside manner or tolerance for nervous patients.

By bobbianderson | June 26, 2012 10:21 AM

Dangle the proverbial carrot and expect the individual not to bite. Yes the average price of dental work has gone up but until December it only went up with inflation & for ortho it went down last year. The insurance companies are putting way too much blame on the dentists for raising their rates. They have categorically reduced the coverage (in some cases as much as 50%) so even if the dentists kept the same fee from 2011 patients would now be stuck with a deductible. The dentists never asked for this "experiment" to begin with so why was it implemented if not to help the insurance companies mask their increased profits by covering less and still increasing fees?

By Michael K | June 26, 2012 11:52 AM

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