THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Breaking ranks

Yesterday I visited Glasgow and presented our “8 key strategies” to an invited audience of Isoplan clients. Isoplan provide dental payment schemes and, although based in Scotland, are gradually extending their market influence to the whole of the UK. There are a number of such providers but Isoplan excel because their client support team are wonderful and they are entrepreneurial owned and skillfully managed. Our setting was The House for an Art Lover, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s dream come into reality and one of the most interesting venues I have spoken from. Good news for The Dental Business School – 4 new clients into our 2006 programme there and then. The title of today’s blog arises from the conversation during the afternoon with the 15/20 practices who attended. In Scotland, dentists who decide to “break ranks” and leave the Health Service are being subjected to amazing pressure from local Government and the media. The concept of Government Health Care has been embedded in the Scottish culture for generations and dentists are genuinely concerned about being “the first” in their geographical area to go private. We heard stories of Members of Parliament and the press circulating misleading flyers to patients as they entered and left practice premises. One young couple attending yesterday had converted last Monday and been hounded my their local MP and the media who were spreading “greedy dentist” stories around the community. I thought we lived in a democracy where individuals could choose their business format? Apparently the elected members of the Scottish Parliament don’t think so. One had even made slanderous comments about a local dentist and then claimed parliamentary privilege as a protection from litigation. Here’s the good news though… We were also welcoming other dentists who had made the transition 3, 6 and 12 months ago and who universally reported that “it all blows over” and they had settled down to a much more agreeable life as private practitioners. Needless to say, their patients and team were a lot happier too.

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