‘PPE promised months ago has not arrived’: Dentists feel sidelined in Covid-19 crisis

ireland
‘Ppe Promised Months Ago Has Not Arrived’: Dentists Feel Sidelined In Covid-19 Crisis ‘Ppe Promised Months Ago Has Not Arrived’: Dentists Feel Sidelined In Covid-19 Crisis
Dentists have expressed concern they will be left at the 'back of the queue' for Covid-19 vaccinations.
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By Digital Desk Staff

Dentists have said the Government “appears to be content to sideline” their profession in the midst of the Covid-19 health crisis.

The President of the Irish Dental Association (IDA), Dr Anne O’Neill, has criticised an “ongoing delay” in engaging with the sector, warning inaction “will have hugely negative consequences for patients”.

The IDA said that amid other issues, personal protective equipment (PPE) promised seven months ago had still not arrived, despite hundreds of dentists registering their interest.

It also expressed concern that despite being priority healthcare staff, it feared dentists would be left at the “back of the queue” when it comes to Covid-19 vaccinations.

“The Government appears to be content to sideline the dental profession in the midst of the biggest health crisis this country has faced,” Dr O’Neill said.

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PPE promised by former health minister Simon Harris seven months ago... has still not arrived

“Covid-19 has placed a huge amount of difficulty, stress and extra costs on private dentists and their staff, who have received no State support whatsoever.

“For example, PPE promised by former health minister Simon Harris seven months ago, in June last year, has still not arrived, despite 700 private dentists registering their interest with the HSE for this equipment.

“This is especially disappointing given an abundance of this equipment is being delivered to GPs and nursing homes,” she added.

Back of the queue

Dr O’Neill described the treatment of dentists during the pandemic as “disrespectful and unreasonable”.

“It is disrespectful and unreasonable for the Government to name dentistry as an essential service, while expecting dentists to also uphold excellent standards of care amidst a huge recent increase in cases without any support whatsoever,” she said.

“Time and again, dentists have asked for action on hugely important issues from the Government, and every time they have failed to get results. This Government’s repeated failure to meaningfully engage and deliver on promises cannot be tolerated.”

Dentists are concerned that, with their experience of PPE being promised but not delivered, they will be left at the back of the queue

Dr O’Neill said that it was also “highly disappointing” that dentists had still not been given any indication as to how soon they would be vaccinated as a priority group for Covid-19.

“Despite assurances made by the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, there has been no timetable published for the vaccination of dentists despite our designation as priority healthcare staff,” she said.

“The Association is meeting with the HSE later today but unfortunately dentists are concerned that, with their experience of PPE being promised but not delivered, they will be left at the back of the queue when it comes to being vaccinated.”

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