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Tue 19 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

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Independent supplies banned, warns Ministry

The United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Ministry of Commerce is clamping down on the direct importation of dental supplies to independent clinics, ending an unofficial dispensation between the government and the country's private sector.

The United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Ministry of Commerce is clamping down on the direct importation of dental supplies to independent clinics, ending an unofficial dispensation between the government and the country's private sector.

"Theoretically clinics are here under a clinical licence and not a commercial licence, which means we are not entitled to import anything," said Dr Nicholas, of Nicholas & Asp, Dubai.

"Within the general context of health providers needing something, however, they have allowed us this for many years."

Many high-end materials and supplies are not sold in the UAE, due to the limited number of high-end practices.

Nicholas discovered that attitudes had changed when one of his shipments was stopped at customs.

"About three weeks back a decision was made that clinics and centres are not entitled to import and this is a shock for us and we are looking now at alternative strategies," he told Middle East Dentist.

Tighter regulations will only force up the price of treatment for the consumer, claimed Dr Amer, general dentist and founder of The Dental Spa, Dubai, in reaction to the news.

"This is another kind of red tape that forces you to use third rate materials," he said.

"Profit margins are being squeezed by government interference," he added.

"It is now more expensive and you are blamed for raising your prices," he said.

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