As young dentists, ambitious to do well and be successful in our careers, matters such as the annual retention fee (ARF) increase proposed by the General Dental Council (GDC) concern us. Moving forward there is a real requirement for strong advocacy and unity among the dental profession, whilst taking steps to prepare ourselves is also key:
- Consider greater involvement with the BDA, unions and other dental organisations where you can voice your views and address your worries
- Support movements, such as petitions and campaigns, against matters you feel strongly about
- Develop yourself individually as a dental student; networking, enhancing your profile and increasing your awareness of dental affairs to better prepare yourself for the real world of dentistry we will all eventually face!
The ARF hike
As many of you know dentistry as a profession has changed incredibly over the past decade. With the potential ARF hike and the rising costs of practicing dentistry, the uncertainty among not only dental professionals, but also us dental students, is understandable.
With registration with the GDC being a lawful requirement for dental professionals, the independent body’s proposed 64% ARF increase from £576 to £945 from 2015 has been met with fierce opposition.
Following previous postponement of its decision date the GDC reason the rise as a result of the increased operating costs it faces from the aggregating Fitness to Practise procedures.
The above, in conjunction with the growing litigation culture emerging within UK dentistry, affects us as students. Representation by defence bodies seems more like a worthwhile and necessary investment.
Following legal letters from the BDA questioning the GDC’s integrity and the commissioning of KPMG accountants to review its justification for the ARF rise along with an overall hostile response from the dental industry, the GDC’s final decision that is now expected to be taken on 30 October 2014, is highly anticipated.
It’s time for us to stand together and for young dentists to be more proactive within the profession!