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Getting to the root of the dental problem
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Like most things, if the people offering services like dental care are not treated with the respect their educations garner them, they are less likely to wish to serve. It costs a great deal of money to operate any professional practice, and when that is taken for granted, it costs the provider money in lost opportunity. Scheduling problems arise, and from time to time, everyone will forget something, but allowing it to become a chronic condition is irresponsible. People are all judged on our prior behavior, and on that of those who came before them.
Also, when the government asks a professional to conduct a service for them, they need to consider all factors in the compensation they are willing to pay. Do they require more paperwork than any other private organization? This needs to be accounted for in the contracted price they are willing to pay.
In addition, do they expect to dictate to a provider how the service should be provided? That is not free-enterprise. That’s on par with asking an independent contractor to perform duties in a set way outside of their normal practice – a test used by the federal government’s tax-collecting arm, the Internal Revenue Service, to determine if the term is wrongly being substituted for “employee” when it comes time for filing taxes.
The dental care crisis in this state could be handled better by taking two steps. Patients and the state keeping in mind that a certain amount of respect is due a professional. Second, somehow and someway, a Kansas dental school needs to be built.
The state needs to train more home-grown professionals before we train more support personnel. The KDA continues to seek support for more seats in dental programs in neighboring states. The argument is that dental schools are very expensive to establish. One person estimated it would cost around $50 million to do so. Perhaps Kansas needs to stop being short-sighted about this, and come up with a real plan for the establishment of such a school in the next five to 10 years.
Veronica Coons