The Minister of Health, Mr Robin Swann MLA, has welcomed the high uptake of the Coronavirus Financial Support Scheme for General Dental Practitioners.
There have been 1,170 applications made to the support scheme which provides additional support payments to dentists to cover their costs during the Coronavirus pandemic, including staff costs.
The Minister said “In order to protect the safety of both dental staff and the public it has been necessary to suspend routine dental activity. This has had a severe impact on the income of dentists putting the viability of dental services at risk. In response, I established the support scheme to ensure that urgent dental care can continue to be provided throughout Northern Ireland during the pandemic and that full services can resume as soon as possible thereafter.”
The scheme has been established over a very short period of time in order that initial payments can be made by the end of April. This also means that the scheme will be reviewed and amended, where appropriate.
Preparations are being put in place for a similar scheme for Ophthalmic Contractors.