What will BREXIT do for you?

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What will BREXIT do for you?

The BIG question

What will BREXIT do for you? Actually, we don’t know either. But here are some things we’ve found out that are likely to affect Dentistry in a (worst case scenario) No-Deal BREXIT, and some other things to think about.

Drugs

Here are some of the most popular medications which could be affected by a no-deal Brexit, according to E-Surgery (click here for the full list):

  • Cetirizine is an antihistamine
  • Citalopram is an antidepressant
  • Exemestane (Aromasin) is used to treat breast cancer
  • Lisinopril treats hypertension, heart failure, and is used after heart attacks
  • Metronidazole (Flagyl) treat pelvic inflammatory disease, endocarditis, and bacterial vaginosis
  • Naproxen (Aleve/Naprosyn) treats pain, menstrual cramps, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and fever
  • Omeprazole treats gastroesophageal reflux, peptic ulcer disease, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

In other words, very few if any of the major drugs used in dentistry will be directly affected by a hard BREXIT. On the other hand, there are three drugs on the full list that the writer has used in the past to treat conditions. If you check the list you might find your personal treatments could be affected too.

Good news so far (for your patients – in a dental setting).

Equipment

Not such good news. As well as brands that manufacture their products in continental Europe – such as Cattani compressors – several other brands make all or part of their product range outside the UK. We believe that A-Dec (for example) imports equipment made in Italy and other European countries, so spare part prices and replacements might face additional taxes (in the form of tariffs) and, given the complexity of the products and their use, they may also face extra customs delays.

Ancar also manufactures in Germany, as does FASA Dental Instruments. Kavo Kerr manufactures in Sweden, which is also the home several dental implant systems manufacturers.

So these may all face customs delays and tariffs that they are not currently subject to.

That means more expense and time to fix problems, and impacts on the choices available to you when choosing equipment for new or refurbished surgeries.

Photo - Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn - Leader of the Labour party
Photo - Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson - Leader of the Conservative party
Photo - Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon - Leader of the Scottish National party
Photo - Jo Swinson
Jo Swinson - Leader of the Liberal Democrat party

Education

Are you planning to attend the European Forum on Dental Practice & Oral Health in March? Or the 25th International Dental Week later that month? What about 3rd World Congress on Dental & Oral Health or Krakdent?

If the UK leaves the EU before March next year you might find visiting Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona or Krakow won’t be the near-seamless, visa-free, short-queue experience it is right now. Should our government not agree on free movement, UK citizens will be subject to the same restrictions as any other non-EU traveller.

You might also find it harder to reclaim VAT on course fees and accommodation, and plus a potentially poor exchange rate. In other words, participating in international conferences in Europe is likely to cost more. Further, there are many high-profile conferences marketed in Europe and scheduled to take place in the UK during 2020. Restrictions of free movement, and the same tax and exchange rate issues might affect the number of attendees coming from Europe to these events

Software

If you’re reading this you probably use (or are considering) Pearl Dental Software. We’re based in Leicester where all our software is developed and supported. Currently, all our staff are UK Citizens (not intentionally, just seems to be who applies to our adverts), and we tend to recruit from the East Midlands area. In other words, your software is secure and won’t be impacted by BREXIT.

In fairness, most of our competitors are in a similar position. Software of Excellence is owned by a New Zealand company, and most of the other software companies, apart from Carestream, are UK owned and based in Britain.

The only issue could be recruitment from Europe, to which SOE and Carestream are most likely to be exposed.

If these are concerns for you, and you’re looking to switch to a software supplier closer to home then give us a call on 0116 275 9995.

Staff

We think this is the big problem. So many dentists these days come from Europe, particularly Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and Germany – usually to take-up Associate roles. Some are already settled with British citizenship. But if a points-based system or some such restriction on free movement is put in place, or if the strangely administered Right to Reside assessments keep coming up with odd results, BREXIT could well compound the problems of recruiting associate dentists.

It’s true that this might initially affect organisations like {my}dentist and BUPA who have made significant efforts to recruit from Europe, but if they fall short in the numbers, they need then competition for dentists already living here will surely increase.

The same thing applies to dental nurses, many of whom come from again, Eastern Europe or from Spain and Portugal. Their situation is likely to be worse in a points-based system, and completely untenable in the salary-based system of immigration management as originally proposed by the Conservative party.

So, what will BREXIT do for you?

We haven’t concentrated on the up-sides of BREXIT because, frankly, we can’t see an up-side for dentistry this side of BREXIT. Down the line it may help overseas trade and make the government more accountable. But until then we think BREXIT will probably cause some minor irritations and perhaps some cost implications. In the short term it is almost certain to impact your access to trained and qualified Associate Dentists and Dental Nurses.

What we do know is that this election is going to have a huge impact on how BREXIT plays out and the policies introduced in the aftermath. The best thing you can do is have your say on the 12th of December and vote!

Chris Webb
Chris Webb
chris@precisionpr.co.uk