Private Medical Insurance: Bupa to expand its dentistry presence
Bupa, the private medical provider, is set to up its presence in dentistry and open 50 new high street practices.
The multi-million pound investment comes after the company saw a gap in the market due to a lack of affordable practices and it believes it can go on to become one of the most established dental chains in the country over the next three years.
Currently Oasis Dental Care are the largest such firm with more than 200 practices across the UK, while James Hull Associates has in excess of 70.
Bupa began operating dental practices back in 1999 but currently has just 11 open and services around 13,000 people. However, it does have a significant place in the health insurance market and provides funds to dental customers through that venture.
The plan is for the new centres to be located in major UK cities, close to the areas where most people work so that they can be accessed easily although appointments will be offered outside of normal office hours also.
Bupa has already expanded its place in the dental market in Spain.
Stuart Fletcher, chief executive of Bupa, said: "Customers tell us that they want convenient, high quality, good value dental care and this is something that we are able to deliver.
"Bupa has been in the business of healthcare for over 60 years, and because we have no shareholders, we can invest the money we make into more and better healthcare. This major investment in private dentistry is part of our long-term commitment to investing in healthcare in Britain."
A range of payment methods will be offered at the centres including pay as you go options and dental insurance schemes.
These will certainly help people to pay for the treatments they need as a recent survey by the British Dental Health Foundation found that a third of people are put off having work done because of the cost.