What is the correct remuneration for your work, especially with GST now in the picture???

By - Dr. Shailly Luthra

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Whenever any one of us wants to start our own private practice, the first dilemma we face is finalizing the treatment charges!!! Most of us just go by the trend of whatever the already practicing dentist’s in our vicinity are charging. Sometimes, we even decide to cut down a little bit on our charges in comparison to the already established practitioners.; in the hope that it will help us sustain.

However, we tend to overlook the fact that any charge we take is not just based on the fact that we have to fulfill our daily expense.

There is plethora of hidden charges in our daily routine. Be it the daily maintenance cost of our practice, the cost of materials, wear and tear cost of equipment, staff salaries or our laboratory bills; all tend to add up to the amount which has to be justified at the end of the month.

Add to these the charges incurred to constantly keep updating your skill by means of courses, workshops, lectures or keeping at pace with the time by investing in newer material or equipment.

Therefore, one has to plan our charges accordingly. The charge for any treatment should be planned keeping in mind one’s investment on education, cost involved in putting together the complete dental set-up, daily maintenance charges and also the laboratory expenses.

 Add to these the two most important factors- “YOUR TIME” and “YOUR SKILL”!!!! The time one invests with a patient is that part of your life which you will never get back; it might even be time taken from your family’s share.

Your skill is something which you have acquired over a period involving a lot of toil and sacrifices. You should be confident in demanding the rightful remuneration for your proficiency, competence and the ability to provide anticipated outcomes to your patients.

We often tend to overlook these two most important factors and just concentrate on means to sustain rather than try to have some profit.

This brings us to the calculation of our net income and the taxes involved with it. Let us for the time being leave income tax one has to pay out of the equation; but with the GST coming in effect a lot of things have changed.

There will be added tax on purchase of material or equipment. Even laboratory charges now will come with added GST. The other daily expenses like electricity, stationary, telephone connection, clinic insurance, staff salaries etc.; all will come under the ambit of GST thus increasing the overall expense of running a practice. If you add to it your personal expense of maintaining your current lifestyle; the figure is bound to go up.

This brings us to the end of our discussion as to what is the way out?? The only way which comes to my mind is have reasonably decent charges for all the services you provide in your practice, keeping in mind the impact of GST. This might mean an increase in your regular treatment charges but it is the only way forward to tide over time. The dental fraternity in each city, town or suburbs can plan their treatment charges by general consensus and proceed accordingly.

Consider the fact that you are skilled artisan’s, and not mere traders, so stop selling yourself short!!! PLAN and PROCEED should be the name of the game!!

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