In October 2001 Which? submitted a super-complaint to the OFT asking it to undertake a thorough examination of the private dentistry sector.
The key problems highlighted by the super-complaint included:
- Lack of pricing transparency.
- Large variations in prices charged for private dental treatment both within specific towns and between towns, suggesting a failure of competition.
- The capitation schemes (insurance/pre-payment schemes) and chains that had entered into the market did not appear to be using their scale of operation to bring charges down for private patients.
- Lack of an effective uniform redress system for private dentistry.
- Difficulty in gaining access to an NHS dentist in many areas. The NHS was therefore not a sufficient competitive threat to act as a means of disciplining pricing by private dentistry.
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