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Thu 13 Mar 2008 04:00 AM

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Dental supply chain saga plays out

Dubai-based practices have ranked inefficient product suppliers and poor access to new merchandise among their top industry grievances.

Dubai-based practices have ranked inefficient product suppliers and poor access to new merchandise among their top industry grievances.

Clinics polled by Middle East Dentist echoed comments by local dentist Dr Ahmad Amer, published in the February issue, that described the UAE's supply situation as a "major problem".

In an interview, Dr Amer said a lack of product provision; vendor knowledge and after-sales service was hindering the local dental industry.

"Equipment we use regularly is not available, or it is way overpriced," Amer complained.

"I'll create a lot of enemies by saying this, but there are no professional agents here who know what they are selling, how to sell it and to whom."

Dr Leila Hariri, Jumeira Beach Dental Center, Dubai, said Dr Amer's negative experience was not an isolated incident.

"A lot of things that I see in the catalogue from the states...it seems they don't have on supply here," she said. "You have to order it and it can take months and when the supplier does bring it to you they don't know much about it."

Hariri added that the impact on clinical matters has been minimal, as she has adapted her practice techniques to utilise available materials.

"When I first moved here I thought that it would be bigger problem, but for me it hasn't really hindered my practice," she said.

Dr Yasnim Haji, marketing manager of Dubai's Dr Hibah Shata Specialised Dental Clinic, reported that supply complaints were more common from dental technicians, who she said struggled to find suitable materials for ceramics.

She admitted being surprised by the poor availability of several products: "There are some shortages of supply that you will find in Dubai that you would not find in the Saudi Arabian market."

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