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Large increase in emergency care provided under lockdown

Dentists say redundancies increasing, large increase in emergency care provided under lockdown

The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) says more and more dentists are having to reduce hours and lay-off staff.

NZDA President Dr Katie Ayers says this comes at a time when the number of dentists who have needed to provide emergency care to assist their patients, has increased in the past two weeks from 39% of members to 62% of members.

“We don’t think this is down to a dramatic increase in risky behavior by New Zealanders, but there is a need for dental care, and we’re clear that this can be provided safely, as has always been the case.

“When NZDA spoke to the Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) recently we said one in eight practices have had to make redundancies or reduce staffing levels, this has now increased to one in five according to our latest survey.”

A quarter of dentists also say they are unable to pay their April bills.

“Obtaining PPE has been tough enough, but what’s been asked here is to be available for more treatments, whilst still having next to zero income, and the large overheads that come with operating a dental practice,” says Dr Ayers.

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