In wake of Covid 19 pandemic, an executive member of dental council of J&K Dr Bhupinder Singh has sought ‘ex-gratia relief’ for dental practitioners who have no other source of income.
The J&K State Dental Council (JKSDC) is the statutory body constituted as per the provision of section 21 of the Dentists Act, 1948. The function of the J&K State Dental Council is to regulate dental education, dental profession and to preserve and peruse code of ethics at all levels. It also registers the qualified dentists as per the provisions of the Act.
Dr Bhupinder in his letter to all the members of JKDC has proposed that “the funds which are presently available with the JKSDC may be utilized to help those dental practitioners who are unemployed and have no other source of income other than private practice to meet their both ends. If approved, a fixed amount from the available funds of JKSDC may very kindly be provided to the unemployed dental surgeons as an ‘ex-gratia relief’ so that they may be able to cope up with present scenario put forth by the Covid-19”.
It is pertinent to mention here that Dr Gautam Sharma, Ex-President of Indian Dental Association (IDA) Jammu, had recently demanded an economic package for the dental surgeons as these dentists will not be able to work on patients atleast for 2-3 months after lifting of lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Sharma said that private dental practitioners who were solely dependent on their income from the dental clinics are worst hit due to lockdown but they have to pay the rent of the clinics, salary of the employees, pending bills and loans from the bank.
If a Corona virus carrier comes for treatment to a dental clinic then no level of precaution can stop splatter of saliva and aerosol production if scaling, cavity preparation with air rotor, use of reduction hand-piece or any other aerosol producing procedure is undertaken. The surfaces and the walls of the clinic will get infected and will expose dentist, clinic staff and all the following patients to the risk of getting infected with corona virus. Hence it would be very difficult for dentists to undertake any procedure in patient’s oral cavity some months even after the lockdown is lifted.
Dr Gautam Sharma stressed that all the state dental councils as well as dental council of India (DCI) along with Indian dental association head office should come up with similar solutions as proposed by Dr Bhupinder Singh of J&K dental council.
If the proposal of Dr Bhupinder Singh is accepted then it would be a big relief for private practicing dentists as well as unemployed dental surgeons.