UK Dentists Under Threat From Coronavirus
With all the people buying face masks in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, dentists across the UK, including those working at Affordable Dental Solutions Limerick, are at risk of having to put their drills if the face mask supply issue isn’t rectified.
All UK practices can only order 100 masks every day, which is leaving the larger practices in the UK running out of supplies.
According to the BDA, even smaller surgeries are using up all of their supplies. The dentists’ trade union has stated that they’ve been bombarded with complaints from members about a shortage of supplies of face masks.
Current regulations dictates that dentists across the UK, like those in Affordable Dental Solutions Limerick, must have disposable face masks when dealing with patients.
With the coronavirus outbreak spreading, China, ground zero, has been hit with it the hardest. China is the world’s major face mask manufacturer, which has resulted in prices tripling since January 202.
On top of all of that, the BDA noted that panic-buying have only exacerbated the issue.
BDA Chairman Mick Armstrong stated that dentists have been hit hard by bad rationing and profiteering recently.
He explains that the ‘one size fits all’ approach that suppliers are using has left larger practices in the UK with few options. This is bad because this jeopardizes the safety of patients, who are facing disruption to their care.
He says that, unless the UK dental industry sees a big increase in the supply of face masks, then dentists will have no choice but to stop working.
According to BDA, an average NHS surgery with a single dentist can go through 250 masks a week, but larger practices with more dentists would burn through their supplies easily under current conditions.
The BDA have stated that they’ve been getting calls from concerned dental practices, some of which have up to 13 dentists operating. Some calls stated that dentists would be running out of masks as early as March.
A Department of Health and Social Care stated that they have procedures set in place for dealing with supply problems, working closely with the industry and others within the supply chain in order to make sure that no shortages happen and patients are not jeopardized.