“I went to fix two molars and ended up losing all my teeth,” laments the president of the Association of those affected by Idental in Las Palmas (Aplafiden), Paz Monzón. Who does not tire of denouncing the inhuman treatment received by the 21,102 affected by the closure of a dental clinic that assured them that it had a grant of one million euros, so that their treatments would be much cheaper. “When you entered, everything was smiles,” recalls Monzón, “the problem came when you signed the contract with the finance company and then they didn’t give you the first one until more than two weeks later, when the legal term to cancel the loan had already expired. That is, they forced patients to close an agreement with the entity even before meeting the professional who was going to manage their treatment.
Facua demands Consumption and the autonomies to regularize the sector
Although the greatest damage was to health, the economy of those affected was also affected. When Monzón went to Idental, they made him an initial budget of 12,000 euros and then they gave him the “surprise” of leaving it at 2,900 euros thanks to the alleged subsidy. To place the implants, they scraped the pieces that left them useless, which forced him to spend almost two years on liquids. “In the end I had to request a personal loan of 12,000 euros to be able to fix my mouth with another professional who warned me that the damage they had done to me was extreme,” explains the president of Aplafiden. “We realized that they treated us like heads of creed, it gave the impression that they were doing internships with us, because they were always asking questions between them,” explains Monzón.
“I lost all my teeth”
This alleged scam case is in court. More than 500 people from the Archipelago reported their situation to justice and now await a response. We need justice to be done, this has been an attack on health, “says the spokeswoman for those affected.
Just a few weeks ago, alarms went off when the Dentix clinics closed. Although, this case is related to poor business management, but there are more than 2,000 people in the Islands who have been harmed. The lawyer Saúl Álamo, as president of the Official Platform of Affected Persons of Dentix de Canarias, legally represents about half a thousand patients who entrusted their dental health to this chain of clinics. “One day before closing they were attending and giving appointments with total normality and, now, there are hundreds of people who cannot, not even, retrieve their medical records.”
Mutis of Health and Consumption
Those affected by the closure of Dentix and Idental have run into a common problem: the financial ones. “They refuse to cancel the contracts and return the money to those who have paid and are paying for a treatment that they have not received or that is incomplete,” says Álamo. Who emphasizes that in order to close the agreement, the finance companies request documentation that is impossible to obtain, precisely because the clinics are not operational. Likewise, it regrets not having received a response from the Health and Consumer Affairs departments of the Government of the Canary Islands, to which it has addressed by letter to request support in this situation.
Affected by the closures, they continue to pay fees for services not received
In this sense, the spokesman for Facua, Rubén Sánchez, calls for a joint action by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the Autonomous Communities against financial companies, which “must be warned that if they continue to collect the loans they may end up receiving sanctions economic ”. These entities, Sánchez points out, “continue to collect the fees knowing that the treatment is not provided.”
For this reason, it calls on the competent authorities to begin to control the sector. “Both the Ministry and the autonomous communities are aware that there have been many fraudulent practices in recent times, but they do not want to learn the lesson and do not assume the need to control this market,” says the Facua spokesman.
The consumer organization claims to the Public Administration that clinics are obliged to have civil liability insurance that covers the risk of closure and offers guarantees against negligence in management and consumer fraud; regulation of health advertising; and maximum transparency and publication of the sanctions imposed, both in the field of consumption and health.
MORE DENTIST IN PUBLIC HEALTH AND REGULATE ADVERTISING
In order to avoid the problems caused by the closure of the large chains of dental clinics, the Official College of Dentists of Las Palmas calls for strict regulation of the sector by the health and consumer authorities. The president of the professional association, Francisco Cabrera, considers that if the National Health System included more benefits in dentistry, cases such as Dentix or Idental would decrease, since fewer people would be forced to resort to private clinics. In addition, remember that nearly five years ago a Non-Law Proposition was approved in the Canary Islands Parliament to regulate health advertising and nothing has been done about it yet, despite the fact that all political formations are aware of the initiative . “It is necessary that the advertising of the sector be truthful and rigorous, in addition to that it would be very positive if it passed a previous administrative filter, so that it does not incite consumption and half truths are not told,” says Cabrera, who insists on highlighting that health is not a business ”. Among the demands of the College of Dentists is also increasing health inspections of clinics, to verify that they meet all the requirements. | ID