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Is it possible for a dentist to enter a partnership (limited…

Is it possible for a...
Is it possible for a dentist to enter a partnership (limited or unlimited) with a non-dentist in Ireland? This is applied to a situation in which a non-dentist wishes to buy part of a dentist's practice, thus leading to their co-ownership and joint management of the practice (which could include hiring other dentists as their employees). I know the Dentists' Act 1985 specifies that corporations cannot own practices, and also specifies that partnerships are allowed between two or more dentists, but it is unclear whether a dentist and non-dentist partnership is acceptable. I would be very grateful if in your answer you could please refer me to evidence that clarifies the interpretation of the law on this issue (and/or shows that such partnerships are accepted in practice, as I do not know of any myself).
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10/7/2012
Buachaill
Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
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Buachaill :

1. Under section 51 of the Dentists Act, 1985, it is an offence for any person "to represent or hold himself out, whether directly or by implication, as practising, or being willing and ready to practise, dentistry" unless they are a registered dentist. This criminal provision makes it an offence for a non-dentist to enter into partnership with a registered dentist. Where a person is in a dentistry partnership they are holding themselves out as a dentist, even if they do not practice dentistry. Essentially any partnership of this nature is an illegality and is prohibited. Accordingly, it is not lawful for a non-dentists to buy part of a dentist's practice. Essentially, dentistry, like law and other professions in Ireland is a closed shop into which non-professionals cannot venture. This is the reason why you know of no situations where there is a dentist in partnership in a dentistry partnership with a non-dentist. It may be in the future that this area of restrictive practices may open up. But for now, I regret to say, this is not something which is lawful.


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Buachaill
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