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Shortage of dentists critical in Czech Republic
Placed by : Looking for Dental 10-04-2007
By Prague Daily Monitor/ČTK
Prague - The Czech Republic suffers from an acute shortage of dentists, Jiri Pekarek, president of the Czech Dental Chamber, said today, adding that it is the beginning of a crisis.
Two years ago, Pekarek discussed the situation with then PM Jiri Paroubek (Social Democrats, CSSD). They agreed to establish an inter-ministerial working group in which the Dental Chamber would also participate.
The group was set up this year with the aim to preserve at least the current number of dentists. Dentists will present the group's work to the public next Tuesday.
The Dental Chamber will also release the latest data on the number of dentists after Easter. So far the last available data, released by the Institute of Medical Information and Statistics, are from 2005 only.
In 2005, there were 7,000 dentists in the 10-million Czech Republic, that is 65 dentists per 100,000 inhabitants, which approached the European average of 57 dentists per 100,000 people.
Britain was then short of dentists, with only 41 per 100,000 inhabitants, and tried to attract new dentists from other countries, including the Czech Republic.
The situation in the neighbouring Slovakia was even worse with only 37 dentists per 100,000 inhabitants.
The Czech Republic had 6979 dentists in 2005, tho-thirds of whom were women.
The average age of male dentists was 48.6 years and 48.8 years in the case of women. The largest group, comprising almost one-third of all dentists, was aged 50-54 years, while 13 percent were over 60.
In 2005, there were about 7 dentists per 10,000 inhabitants in the country, that is 1484 patients per dentist.
The best situation was in Prague with almost 11 dentists per 10,000 inhabitants, that is 914 patients per dentist.
On the contrary the lowest number of dentists was in Central Bohemia with 4.7 dentists per 10,000 inhabitants, which is 2140 patients per dentist. However, the actual situation is not that critical as many inhabitants of this region seek dentist's care in the capital of Prague.
Inhabitants in the Usti region, north Bohemia, faced major problems seeking dentists as there were only 5 dentists per 10,000 inhabitants in the region, that is 1998 patients per dentist.
The average in the Czech Republic is 6.7 per 10,000 inhabitants and 1484 patients per dentist.
According to the analyses for the Czech Dental Chamber, the number of dentists in the Czech Republic could decrease by one-third in 10 to 15 years.
In 2005-2009, the national average is put at 1849 patients per dentist, while in another five years it might be 2551 patients and in 15 years 2693 patients per dentist. The latest analyses say that the number of dentists in the country would probably lower to one half by 2020.
This story copyright 2007 ČTK Czech News Agency