Interview with Dr. Manuel Pinto de Almeida in the newspaper “Jornal Vida Económica
How is the stock composition of Clipal?
Clipal is composed by two managing partners each one with 50% of the company, both contributing for the company’s course, which, in such a competitive sector as the one of dental medicine, has been decisive for the company to sustain its growth in the quality of service provided to its patients, its main prescribers.
What is your opinion regarding the Portuguese national market?
Patients are more and more demanding, they are more clarified and informed in relation to the various types of treatments available in the market. The financial availability is still a barrier which most of the times, limits the professional when choosing the treatment considering the patient’s financial availability. Overall, Oral Health has improved significantly, people are more and more careful, they accept making more financial sacrifices in favor of a greater comfort, that is very noticeable in the decision making between a fixed vs removable denture.
What are the main problems that private clinics have to face?
Oversupply. The economic crisis that we face hampers the acceptance of estimates also due to the lack of state support. Sometimes we have to limit the treatment to the patient’s economical possibilities. However, Clipal has worked towards having all types of specialties, from implantology (with fixed and removable prosthetic solutions) to endodontics and restorations which is the dentistry part. With a multidisciplinary team, the diagnostics are made widely, not only limited to the tooth the patient’s complaining about, but by analyzing a group of situations in order to restore a good esthetic, chewing and phonetic function. But Clipal’s greatest added value is, without a doubt, the bet on implantology. Fortunately, despite being more expensive, this solution is acknowledged as the one guaranteeing better results for the patient.
Isn’t there already an excessive competition in this line of business?
Yes, there is and to a point where it could be seen as something somewhat healthy, obligating clinics to differentiate themselves through quality. But in fact, we observe that we are in a sector where professional ethics leaves much to be desired sometimes. In our case the twelve years of existence and the five Clipal clinics distributed through Gaia and Santa Maria da Feira, speak for themselves. No clinic reaches this longevity without having good professionals and an excellent service rendering. Our secret is the attention towards the patients’ well-being since their arrival – where a cozy space, technicians and cutting-edge equipment awaits them – but that doesn’t end when they leave the chair, the follow-up is continuous.
Is the legislation in force indicated?
The current legislation has been adequate to separate the wheat from the chaff. This is, to put an end to misleading campaigns and aggressive sales that violate the principles of veracity, lawfulness and the objectivity of the information to the patient. Of course it is far from being a totally adequate legislation for the professional’s and patient’s anxieties, but that is a job to be done together. But the professionals are ready to work with the authority and help create a more cohesive legislation and more adjusted to the daily reality.
What is Clipal’s strategy for the Portuguese market? Which are the predicted investments?
We want to become a reference, make a difference through quality, through the way we deal with the patient and the involving technology. At the moment we are going to invest in two new clinics and later in a third one, all of which equipped with quality materials and cutting-edge technology. We are going to invest in human resources as well as in training for the existing ones in order to do more and better.
Are there any projects in terms of internationalization of your brand?
Yes, we are developing projects in Europe, but for now it would be too early to reveal. We will continue betting on dental implants for sure, a need most in demand. We want the era where dental implants were only accessible to some people to be part of the past.
How do you contribute to the sustainability of the Portuguese National Health Service?
We contribute in the sense that oral health is a public health problem. Therefore, if we have patients who are duly treated and with a continuous follow-up these are patients that will not be subjected to other types of diseases arising from a bad oral health and, consequently, will stay away from hospitals and health facilities. For example, patients with periodontal disease, according to experimental and clinical epidemiological studies, have a higher risk of suffering an acute myocardial infarction.
Recent studies also indicate an association between Periodontal Disease and Alzheimer, since the responsible bacteria for oral inflammation, may get installed in other organs systemically, even in the brain causing neuron destruction. A relation with oral health was also found in type II diabetes patients. These present a higher tendency for gingival diseases (gingivitis and periodontitis), as the blood sugar levels are generally higher than usual. Regarding oral health, Clipal promotes prevention and training through free surveys.
Source: Vida Económica