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ERO Communications IV

07.01.2012

President’s Welcome

Dear colleagues,

it is my pleasure to present this issue of the ERO Communications right before the holidays and before our next meeting in Hong Kong at the end of August.

ERO has had a marvellous frame for its Spring Plenary session 2012 in Prague. On behalf of the entire ERO I would like to thank again the Czech Dental Chamber, represented by Dr Pavel Chrz and his staff for the generous hospitality and Mrs Hana Stepankova for the outstanding assistance and work in the backstage.

Deputy Health Minister of Health of the Czech Republic, Dr Ferdinand Polak, has expressed his appreciation for the variety and the importance of the topics discussed.

Special guests have honored the Prague meeting. Among them, Dr. Jean-Luc Eiselé, Executive Director of FDI, Dr Wolfgang Doneus, President of CED and a guest from our affiliate member, ESDE Secretary Mrs Anna Szymanska.

ERO has demonstrated once more to be at the forefront with its work in all of its Working groups. Interesting results and preliminary data have been delivered and the updates to be expected in Hong Kong will further motivate to be an active part in our Region.

ERO has spent and will spend even more efforts on organizing and optimizing its work in any field. The fact, that the ERO Working Model, supported by the official ERO slogan, did not need any changes, speaks for itself. A future document, which will increase ERO’s efficiency, is under construction and will be presented at FDI’s Annual World Dental Congress. This year it has been for the first time that the Regional organizations have been invited to participate in the FDI’s Midyear meeting. Vice-president, Philippe Rusca has said it clearly in Prague: ERO distinguishes itself for its organization and for its sound financial situation. Who wants to be part of this success will find a way to be on board; who does not want to be part of it will find excuses.

Our Team

ERO Board has worked eagerly on new topics for the Working groups to be presented to and adopted by the Plenary in Hong Kong. Vice-president, Philippe Rusca, Secretary general, Anna Lella, Treasurer, Michael Frank, Councillor, Bedros Yavru-Sakuk and myself have discussed with the WG-Chairs in order to be proactive in advocacy issues in due time. Secretary of office, Monika Lang has given her support in coordinating the developments.

Trends

In difficult times professions are facing different challenges. Dentistry has seen both: intrusion of commercial interests and intellectual responses to worn out business models. Third parties are present in many countries to compensate the lack of public finances and the call for “organized” dentistry at a large scale is becoming more consistent. Would this threaten the liberal dental profession and the liberal choice of a patient’s dentist?

Many young dentists do not have the chance to be integrated into the working process in an increasing number of ERO countries, while in others dentists are lacking. The first might be due to an incorrect calculation of workforce need and untouchable privileges of the universities, but does the latter foretell that dentistry is unattractive from an economic as well as from an intellectual point of view?

To maintain today’s level of quality of life, or even increasing it, changes in dental and medical practice are a priority. Prevention and collaborative approach between dentists and medical specialists will be the key to it.

Dentists, compared to physicians, do benefit from a recall-system their patients are acquainted with since decades and from new scientific understandings, which distinguishes them as the most “skilled experts” in prevention by far. Titus Schleyer has been cited in Prague: “The separation of dentistry from medicine is a historical accident!” Although it seems mankind has never learned from history it could at least accept the benefit of organized dentistry. Let me say it more clearly: This shall not only be the case when it is about the identification of persons after mass disasters!

ERO has understood the trends and its workinggroups are investigating on most interesting tasks with a forward-thinking approach. Last, but not least, socialaccountability is a well-known term the dental community has always taken into consideration with responsible action for those in need. It is now time to sensitize administrators that their social responsibility is that of statesman and as those they need to think of future generations. This needs political skill, we all have, and dignity, which finds itself defined in Tilla Durieux’s citate: Public charity is beneficence with a loudspeaker!

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