4 May 2020
To All Our Valued Patients
We hope that you have all kept safe and well during this lock down period. Its certainly been an interesting time for us. The uncertainty of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements and supply has led to a few grey hairs for me! We have finally managed to acquire the stocks we need and are preparing to open again when the country moves to Alert Level 2.
For each Risk Level the NZ Dental Council (NZDC) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) outline the treatment dentists can provide and the restrictions set in place to protect both staff and patients.
To date the NZDC and the MOH have proven to be awfully slow at coming out with these rules and guidelines for each risk level. This may mean that we are unable to open immediately after we move into Alert Level 2. Please know we are working as hard, and as fast, as we can behind the scenes to get all the relevant information we need to reopen as safely and as soon as we can.
You may have seen in the media that the additional cost of PPE is expensive, estimated at around $80 per patient. These costs cannot be absorbed into any practices fee schedule. What you will find is that dental practices will now itemize the cost of PPE as a separate fee per appointment.
We have worked hard to avoid such a high cost and have sourced our PPE as affordably as we are able. We hope to keep our PPE fees at approximately $40 per appointment under the current guidelines. Each Risk Level has varying PPE requirements and as the Risk Levels reduce, we anticipate the PPE requirements will change and hope this will allow us to lower these costs further.
When we went into lock down, we had to cancel over 80 patients that had planned appointments. We have kept a record of all these appointments and will contact everyone when we are able to re book your appointments. Please be aware that we have prioritized those patients who have significant pain and infection. For both existing and new patients, if you are in pain, have a broken tooth or just need a check-up please do not hesitate to contact us and we will schedule you as soon as we can.
When we reopen will be operating slightly different hours of work. This means we will also need to reschedule those who have planned appointments post lock down period. Please be patient as we work through this rescheduling. We will be focusing on seeing you all as quickly as we can. But obviously we are all about 7-8 weeks behind in our usual work schedules! The NZDC shut down dental practice on Monday March 23rd, 3 days before the country went into lock down.
We value your patronage, can’t wait to see you all and look forward to your ongoing support. Remember the sooner we can support our local businesses the sooner they can recover and the longer these can remain in our awesome community.
Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org , message us on Facebook at Piopio Dental or give us a call if you have any questions, concerns or just need an appointment.
Have a great day.
From Kim and the Piopio Dental Team.