Our Dental Front-Line Workers Deserve Help Too- Pandemic Pay

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As Canadians, we applaud the Government’s leadership, guidance, and efforts throughout this ongoing pandemic. Indeed, they have risen to the occasion on behalf of the people of Ontario during these unprecedented times. However, it seems that Dental staff have been forgotten to be part of the front-line health care workers who are risking their lives every day to provide emergency services to their communities. 

Dental front-line staff, namely dental assistants and dental receptionists, have worked tirelessly during this pandemic to look after our patients. They have played a critical, yet often overlooked, role in providing emergency care to patients in need –from screening and intake, to providing invaluable information and support. Many of these individuals have been working seven (7) days per week, subjecting themselves to increased risks in the process, to ensure every individual who needs immediate dental care can receive it. They are, unquestionably, the epitome of a front-line worker.

As an organization, we have taken several measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and patients. We have procured all the necessary personal protective equipment, enhanced our sanitization practices, and have gone above and beyond all the COVID-19 recommendations proposed by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, amongst other things. 

Despite having to incur these additional costs, we continue to operate and push forward for the sake of our communities. It is for these reasons that we were disappointed when our staff was not included in the list of frontline workers eligible for temporary pandemic pay offered by your government. Excluding general dental staff from pandemic pay, including those working in public health institutions, not only has a monetary impact, but it also fails to acknowledge the efforts and sacrifices these health care workers are making daily.

We understand that the government has since expanded the list of workers eligible for pandemic pay and respectfully ask that they strongly reconsider including dental staff.

Yours truly,

Dr. Hassan El-Awour 
CEO—The Tooth Corner Dental Offices