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Coronavirus: Dentists warn of higher charges

Dentists’ rates will have to increase because of additional protection equipment and disinfection procedures they need to take after seeing each patient, dentists warned on Wednesday.

The head of the Cyprus Dentists Association, Vrasidas Filippides told the Cyprus News Agency that they need an additional €17 to €30 per patient because of the additional equipment to protect from the coronavirus.

Though several dentists remain closed, he said, in general dental practices continue to operate.

“Service rates will rise not just because of the equipment but also due to the disinfection procedure proposed by the World Health Organisation, the World Dental Association and the Council of European Dentists,” Filippides told CNA.

He added that dentists will be wearing special protection equipment and will have to disinfect their workspace after each patient.

He explained that a dentist will need extra time to remove the personal protective equipment after each patient and will then have to ventilate their workspace and disinfect surfaces and the floor before seeing the next patient.

“You realise that we will not work at the same pace as before the coronavirus,” he said, adding that removing the personal protection gear and clean it but also disinfect their workspace will be time consuming.

“If someone works eight hours a day, they will be able to only see eight patients maximum,” he added.

Filippides said that dentists will absorb part of the additional costs but inevitably, patients too will be called on to pay higher rates for dental services.

He also said that it is not easy to procure protective gear due to the high demand but that local dentist associations were able to get this equipment at high cost for their members so that more dentists are able to emergency services.

The head of the state dental services, Christakis Tsielepos, told CNA that the public sector dentists continue to offer their services to urgent cases. Between March 9 when the first coronavirus was detected in Cyprus to-date, 450 urgent cases had been served islandwide, he said.

 

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