BDA Northern Ireland is calling for urgent action to ensure dedicated financial support for mixed/private-orientated and NHS practices is achieved across Northern Ireland.
In a recent letter addressed to the First Minister, Rt. Hon Arlene Foster MLA, and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, the BDA urged them to address the issue to which individual Ministers have, to date, failed to provide an adequate response, highlighting the severe financial situation facing many practices who have been unable to access wider government support measures.
The BDA states that the lack of any meaningful support for mixed/private dentistry, whose business model renders the FSS package entirely inadequate, is alarming and wholly unacceptable. The association is also pressing for additional funds to be committed to the GDS budget, and no abatement to be applied, to reflect the sky rocketing of costs.
In addition, the BDA has argued the plight of private dentistry and the case for support directly to Health Minister Robin Swann, and to Economy Minister Diane Dodds on three separate occasions: 24 March, 16 April and 8 June, and has also presented its case to the Economy Committee through its evidence to the Health Committee, as well as on repeated occasions with officials.
The responses received by the BDA are shared below:
- Response from Dianne Dodds, Minister for the Economy 3 May 2020
- Response from COVID-19 Central Correspondence Unit 22 June 2020
- Response from Dianne Dodds, Minister for the Economy 2 July 2020
The BDA is now calling for all its members to share their stories of how Covid-19 has affected their practices by writing to MLAs and urging them to contact the First and deputy First Minister. For more information, click here.
Chair of the BDA Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee, Richard Graham, commented: “It is not in the public interest to see mixed/private oriented practices fail. Nor are we prepared to stand for this disjointed approach, and the longer Covid-19 limits the ability of practices to generate revenue at pre-Covid-19 levels, the increasingly desperate the financial situation facing practices with a higher reliance on private earnings is becoming.
“We need a dedicated support package to be put in place for private dentistry, and additional funding is needed for the GDS that recognises the additional costs of providing services post COVID-19. We look forward to the Executive’s response to our call for urgent support.”