No Future for Dentists in Portugal

No Future for Dentists in Portugal

6/12/2021 5:06:50 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 2377
The Portuguese Dental Association (Ordem dos Médicos Dentistas, OMD) currently has 11,640 licensed dentists. This means that there is one dentist for every 884 inhabitants. For comparison: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends one dentist for every 2,000 inhabitants.

IN TEN YEARS THE NUMBER OF DENTISTS HAS INCREASED BY TWO THIRDS

In 2010, almost 7,000 dentists were licensed in Portugal, which means that their number rose by over 66 percent in just ten years. In 2020 alone, the number of practicing dentists grew by 3.8 percent or 513; in the previous year, 750 new members joined the chamber. These are data from the new study "Números da Ordem 2020/2021", which was carried out by the OMD and provides the most important figures, assessments and trends in the profession.

EMIGRATION IS THE MOST VIABLE OPTION FOR THE YOUNGER GENERATION

Against this background, OMD President Miguel Pavão points out that there is enormous saturation in the labor market: "Portugal does not have the capacity to provide decent jobs for so many dentists. Unfortunately, for younger dentists, emigration is the most viable option. There are so many dentists here that the only way out is to emigrate or change jobs - despite the high investment in training. "

It is necessary to make the younger generations and their families aware of this reality. In addition to the oversupply of dentists, a large part of the Portuguese population has difficulties in accessing oral health care and dental implants due to a lack of economic efficiency. The so-called dentist check program or the pilot project of dentists in health centers, according to Pavão, only addresses a tiny part of the population and leaves out the vast majority of Portuguese.

MOST OF THEM GO TO FRANCE AND ENGLAND

More and more Portuguese dentists are emigrating: The number of dentists with dormant chamber licenses rose last year by 95 (5.7 percent) to 1,770. Overall, 12.5 percent of dentists suspended their license, the vast majority because they emigrated. Besides, 5% dental office shut down last year.

The average age of dentists with a dormant license rose to 42, but more than half are under 41 years of age. France has recently overtaken the UK as the main work destination for Portuguese dentists.

Dental care in Portugal

                
  1. 61 percent of the profession consists of women, and the trend is rising. The average age of dentists rose slightly - to 40 years. Almost 90 percent of the dentists admitted to the OMD are Portuguese, followed by Brazilians (583), Italians (242) and Spaniards (171).
             
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  3. 3,771 students are enrolled in the seven integrated master’s courses in dentistry in Portugal, 1,454 (39 percent) of them from abroad. The number of foreign students is growing steadily and has more than tripled since 2015. French are the majority (733), followed by Italians (255) and Spanish (188).
           
        
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  5. The geographical distribution of dentists continues to show large differences between the regions. The least active dentists per inhabitant are in the Baixo Alentejo and Alentejo Litoral, with a ratio of over 2,000 inhabitants per dentist. At the other end of the scale are regions with a high density of dentists, such as the Área Metropolitana do Porto (615), followed by the regions Viseu Dão-Lafões, Coimbra, Terras de Trás-os-Montes, Cávado and Área Metropolitana de Lisboa.
Category: Public Health
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