COVID-19: Update: BDA activity and reports from Scotland, Ireland and the USA

COVID-19: Update: BDA activity and reports from Scotland, Ireland and the USA

The BDA has launched a petition to extend business rates relief to dentists. Their chief executive Martin Woodrow has given his end of week video report on activity undertaken by the Association. In addition, media reports that Scottish dentists are facing ‘financial disaster’ plus reports from Ireland and the USA.

Petition to extend business rates relief to dentists

With practices struggling to keep afloat the BDA has launched a petition calling on government to extend the COVID-19 business rates relief to healthcare providers. This is part of their on-going campaign for private practices to receive fair and equitable financial support during this crisis. Only 8% of practices in England reported that they were confident in maintaining their financial sustainability prior to June 8. Many practices continue to struggle despite re-opening, a situation which is completely untenable.

Martin Woodrow’s update

To see the BDA chief executive’s weekly update, go to:

https://bda.org/advice/Coronavirus/Pages/latest-updates.aspx

 

Scottish dentists facing financial ‘disaster’

The Daily Record reports that Scotland is facing a dental disaster as more than half of practice owners fear they could go to the wall amid the coronavirus crisis. 51% of the 400 polled by the Scottish Dental Practice Owners group claim they are heading for bankruptcy, while 40 per cent are unsure how they’ll cope when lockdown measures are eased.

But it has been announced that practices in Scotland can reopen for urgent care using non-aerosol generating procedures from Monday 22 June. This follows the First Minister’s announcement about Phase 2 for easing the lockdown across Scotland.

Ireland: Dentists to withdraw from health scheme

The Irish Times reports that many dental practices are expected to withdraw from the dental medical card scheme due to the additional cost of PPE putting the viability of the practices at risk. Since May 18th, dentists have been permitted to reopen for routine appointments, but additional medical-grade PPE must be worn to prevent the spread of coronavirus, particularly for treatments that require aerosol generation. Fintan Hourihan, chief executive of the Irish Dental Association, said Minister for Health promised the provision of adequate PPE to dentists six weeks ago, but added that it was “gravely disappointing that we have seen nothing since”.

Dental ‘offices’ are a barometer for gauging economic recovery

A New York Times report says that dentist offices tend to be stable businesses that stick around for decades, unlike restaurants that open and close frequently. This makes them, in the eyes of some economists, the perfect barometer for gauging the country’s recovery from the shock of the pandemic.
Dentistry in the USA has weathered an exaggerated version of the pandemic’s economic impact, experiencing both a steeper decline and a faster recovery than other sectors. Half of all dental workers lost their jobs in March and April as states closed businesses to slow the virus’s spread.  The industry accounted for a staggering 35% of all health care jobs lost in those months. How long it takes those jobs to come back entirely will be a crucial indicator of whether Americans feel safe returning to normal activities, and if they have the economic means to do so.

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