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8551.0 - Dental Services, Australia, 1997-98  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/09/1999   
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INTRODUCTION

This publication presents results, in respect of the 1997-98 financial year, from two Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) surveys of private sector practitioners and businesses involved in the provision of dental services. These were the first ABS surveys of this industry.

The first survey was a sample of private practice dental practitioners. Results of that survey are presented in section 1 of this publication. The second survey was of private practice dental businesses (and their related administrative service businesses) which were identified from the first survey. Results from the second survey are presented in section 2 of this publication.


SECTION 2: DENTAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

This section of the publication presents results in respect of 1997-98 from a sample survey of dental businesses in private practice.


SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS

The 5,099 practices in the dental services industry at the end of June 1998, provided their services from 6,384 locations, with 80% (5,099) being in capital cities and 20% (1,285) in non-capital city areas. This contrasts with the population distribution of 64% in capital cities and 36% in non-capital city areas.

During 1997-98, the industry received total income of $1,685 million. Fee for service income was the major component, accounting for 97% ($1,641 million) of total income. The industry incurred expenses of $1,234 million, of which labour costs of $568 million was the major component.

The operating profit before tax for the industry was $451 million, which represented an operating profit margin of 26.9%. The operating profit margin for general dental practices was 25.2%, oral surgery practices was 34.1% and other specialist practices was 33.8%.

At the end of June 1998, there were 24,108 persons working in the dental services industry. Dental practitioners accounted for 31% of employment, with support staff accounting for the balance. This represented a ratio of 2.3 support staff per practitioner.

During 1997-98, the return per practitioner in the dental industry was $87,000, comprising a return per general dental practitioner of $76,600, a return per oral surgeon of $183,000 and return per other dental specialist of $165,500. By way of comparison, results from the 1994-95 ABS survey of the private medical practice industry showed that the return per general medical practitioner was $71,400 and the return per specialist medical practitioner was $163,300.

2.2 KEY FIGURES
General dental services
Oral surgery services
Other specialist dental services
Total

    Practices at end June (no.)
4465
124
510
5099
    Locations at end June
    Capital city (no.)
4190
214
696
5099
    Other (no.)
961
71
252
1285
    Total (no.)
5151
285
948
6384
    Employment at end June
    Practitioners (no.)
6539
144
685
7368
    Other (no.)
13800
558
2382
16740
    Total (no.)
20339
702
3067
24108
    Income
    Fee for service ($m)
1317.6
56.8
266.9
1641.3
    Other income ($m)
35.7
*2.7
5.4
43.9
    Total ($m)
1353.4
59.5
272.3
1685.2
    Expenses
    Labour costs ($m)
470.9
18.1
79.4
568.4
    Other expenses ($m)
543.0
21.5
101.1
665.6
    Total ($m)
1013.8
39.6
180.5
1234.0
    Operating profit before tax ($m)
339.5
20.0
91.7
451.2
    Operating profit margin (%)
25.2
34.1
33.8
26.9
    Return per practitioner ($'000)
76.6
183.0
165.5
87.0




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