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Sun 16 Mar 2008 04:00 AM

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DOHMS backs complaints culture

Dubai dentists frustrated with industry red tape are being urged to band together and voice complaints to the Health Authority.

Dubai dentists frustrated with industry red tape are being urged to band together and voice complaints to the Health Authority.

In response to reports in last month's MED, where local dentists protested against excessive licensing laws, Dr Nasser Malik, assistant director for dental services at Dubai's Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS) said all grievances should be lodged with the government.

"These dentists have to make their complaints to the Dubai Health Authority, else nothing will be done to resolve the issue," he said. "If we don't know, we can't help."

Nasser admitted that the government may have seemed unresponsive to private sector issues, but argued that if dentists fail to complain directly, the Authority is not able to act.

"We typically hear about problems perhaps even a year after the event, because nobody has made a formal complaint," he said.

He advised dentists to make use of the Authority's online e-complaint forms on the DoHMS homepage. "They should be sure to mention any economic effect the problem is creating, because that's very important," he said.

DOHMS is in the process of being phased out by Dubai Health Authority. The DHA plans to be the emirate's only regulatory body by 2012.

Nasser believes the new agency is more willing to work closely with the private sector, suggesting a review of licensing regulations is likely.

"Policies have typically taken a long time here, but I do think that is changing," Malik said.

"The market has to loosen up if it is to continue to flourish."

"I think the mentality is now different. They [DHA] want things to run smoothly. They're being overprotective for the right reasons, but at the same time they are harming dentists who want to work decently and give something back to the community."

"I know the DHA wants to even out licensing across the public and private sector, and hopefully that will continue into the other issues."

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