I wrote last week about the inconsistencies in messages that dental practices are sending to their valued patients about the NECESSITY or not of their dental treatment.
Mandatory state and territory regulations in Australia relating to STAY AT HOME regulations and the restriction of movement of the community in general [in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community] are the paramount determining factors as to whether dental practices are open for business or not.
On top of these regulations, State and Territory Dental Councils then set levels of Operation for their dental practices to follow.
So while one state may have the community in Lockdown, they may still only have dental practices operating quite freely on Level 1 Restrictions.
Other States may be harsher on their dental practices, applying Level 3 and Level 4 Restrictions on dental practices, affecting which dental procedures can be carried out and those that are not permitted during these times.
Of primary importance is the consideration that through all of this, the provision of dental services is considered a medical treatment, and as such, is one of the five reasons that people are permitted to travel from their homes during lockdown times.
The Primary Question?
The question arises during these times as to why some industries and activities are allowed to operate in some states and countries in lockdown but not others.
Golf is a prime example.
In the Australian State of Victoria, golf is not permitted as an activity during times of lockdown. In neighbouring New South Wales, golf is permitted as exercise and recreation, though there are significant social distancing adjustments applied to the way golf is played.
The Flow On Implication Is This:
If an industry or an activity can be shown to be acting responsibly within the guidelines for restricting the social spread of the Virus by following safe practices, then that industry should feel fortunate to be allowed to continue to do business.
Rather than be closed down as a result of some “beaurocratic preconception or misconception”
One must wonder why the Victorians have not been allowed to play golf during lockdowns for past eighteen months while their northern neighbours from New South Wales are playing golf, and are demonstrating to the rest of the country that golf is a fairly safe pastime.
As a result of this, golf courses in New South Wales have seen a resurgence of activity and have been able to provide an avenue for physical and mental exercise for members of the community, as well as providing employment and business-to-business opportunities for the golf clubs and their suppliers.
Mandatory across the board closures of businesses has a flow on effect to other smaller businesses in the community that deal with each other on a B2B basis.
Dental practices should feel very fortunate that they can still perform most dental procedures on their patients during Lockdown and level One restrictions, while following the Dental Council edict that they “evaluate whether delaying treatment may lead to an unfavourable result” for their patients.
Many dental patients believe that the treatment they are having at their dentist, including regular examinations and preventive treatments, are indeed NECESSARY in the maintenance of their overall health and well-being.
It is important that the profession upholds the fact that these necessary visits to the dentist do need to proceed for the patient whenever possible, and that with appropriate screening procedures and protocols, there is no valid reason or excuse for the delay of these necessary appointments.
Especially while the continued provision of medical treatments is considered valid and justified during these times.
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