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Northern Ireland Reports Dental Earnings, Expenses

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The NHS Information Centre released details of the earnings and expenses of General Dental Services (GDS) dentists in Northern Ireland in 2007/08.

This is the first time that an overview of self-employed GDS dentists’ earnings and expenses has been produced for Northern Ireland.

Dentists’ pay varies widely depending on the type of dentist; Principals, the higher paid category of self-employed GDS dentists have an average taxable income of ?121,174, with Associate dentists, the lower paid category having an average taxable income of ?66,134.

This statistical publication presents results based on anonymised tax data for dentists with an accounting year ending in 2007/08. Unless stated otherwise, all averages in the report relate to both full and part-time dentists with varying levels of earnings from the Health Services and private work. The report presents key findings in terms of average taxable income, average expenses and average gross earnings for Principal and Associate dentists.

As a first overview, this report has been labelled as “Experimental Statistics”, in keeping with the UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice. Experimental statistics are new official statistics undergoing evaluation; they are published as such to involve users and stakeholders in their development, and as a means to build-in quality at an early stage.

This report has been produced by the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care, in consultation with a working group comprised of representatives from the Department of Health, the Welsh Assembly Government, the NI Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, the British Dental Association, the secretariat for the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration Review Body, the NHS Business Services Authority Dental Services and the National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants.

Key Points

It is not meaningful to discuss the average earnings of an average dentist as there is great variation in the different financial arrangements. However, the key findings among self-employed GDS Northern Ireland dentists in 2007/08 are given below.

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* Average taxable income (gross earnings minus expenses, before income tax) for Principal dentists was ?121,174, compared to ?66,134 for Associate dentists. For all dentists (that is, Principal and Associate) this figure was ?89,756.

* Average expenses for Principal dentists were ?190,053, compared to ?37,462 for Associate dentists.

* Average gross earnings for Principal dentists were ?311,227, compared to ?103,595 for Associate dentists.

* The Expenses to Earnings Ratio (EER) for Principal dentists was 61.1%, compared to 36.2% for Associate dentists. The EER for all dentists was 53.4%. The EER is the proportion of gross earnings taken up by expenses.

* For those self-employed GDS dentists with a high Health Service commitment (ratio of Health Service earnings to total earnings of 75%+), the average EER was 38.1%; whereas those self-employed GDS dentists with a low Health Service commitment (ratio of Health Service earnings to total earnings of up to 25 per cent) had an average EER of 62.9%.

* The report also presents earnings and expenses results by the former Health and Social Services Board areas, age, gender, and by percentage of income earned from Health Service dental work.

* Comparisons with previous years have not been possible, as this is the first time data have been produced for Northern Ireland by the NHS IC.

UK comparisons

* The NHS IC has also produced a separate report for England and Wales; differing contractual arrangements in England and Wales and Northern Ireland mean that comparisons between the two reports should not be made.