Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists Bulletin Summer 2020 - 13

Component Reports

pandemic. Our regulatory College (the College of
Dental Surgeons of BC) shut down all non-emergency care on Monday, March 16th. It was a hard
day, as we had no notice of the coming shutdown.
Also, anyone who had attended the Pacific Dental
Conference (PDC) had to immediately self-isolate
for 14 days, as an infected individual was identified
as having attended the conference. The PDC is one
of the largest dental meetings in Canada every
year with over 14,000 attendees, and BC registered dentists get complimentary registration.
Unfortunately, this public announcement shined a
poor light on the dental profession, as we had not
been previously told to self-isolate. The provincial
health officer also failed to mention that during
the same weekend of the PDC, there were two
Canucks games played (over 18,000 attendees
each) and the Rugby 7s were held at BC Place,
which drew over 40,000 attendees from around
the world each day of the competition. Spectators
to these events would have stayed in the same hotels and visited the same bars and restaurants as
dental professionals at the PDC. Instead, dentistry
was cast as the lone villain for potentially causing
an outbreak of the virus in downtown Vancouver.
Another issue that many BC dentists have faced
during the last month is having our pandemic
insurance clause paid out by our Tripleguard
insurance. Initially, since we didn't have a strict
business closure mandate from our provincial
government, it looked like BC would be the only
province where this clause was not payable; but
the British Columbia Dental Association worked
on our behalf and now the payments will be
made to members with this insurance. Most
members with this insurance will be eligible for
a $1,000/day coverage for up to 20 days. Moving
forward, however, this pandemic coverage will no
longer be available from our insurance carriers.
Many of us still struggle with obtaining proper
personal protective equipment for ourselves and
our staff and knowing what the best course of
action for treating patients will be when the time
comes.

Summer 2020    PCSO Bulletin	

For those of us who laid our staff off due to office
closures, they have been eligible for the Canada
Emergency Response Benefit, which is a $500 per
week payment. There have also been increases to
child benefits packages for those with children,
as well as an additional $1,000 one-time payment
from the BC government. Some employers could
qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
program where wages could be reimbursed up to
75% if an office showed at least a 30% reduction
in revenue. Of course, orthodontic monthly billings that continued in some offices could create
challenges in proving this lost revenue. There
have been other resource packages to help reduce
rent requirements, electricity bills, and employee
benefits payments.
At the beginning of May it was announced that
BC will begin a four phase re-opening plan (BC
has remained at phase 1 the entire time thus far).
Phase 2 would allow elective medical procedures
and other health professionals, including dentistry, to begin resuming work. We are anxiously
awaiting further guidance from our College regarding what regulations will be in place for our
re-opening, as well as an official return to work
date. Two BC orthodontists, Drs. Rick Odegaard
and Jay Philipson, were the co-chairs of a Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) task force
on creating a return-to-work guide for Canadian
orthodontists.
The British Columbia Society of Orthodontists
meeting, featuring guest speaker Dr. Matthew
Ng, that was scheduled for April (sponsored by
American Orthodontics) was cancelled. Our AGM
scheduled for June, as well as the CDA orthodontic module training program in May, were
canceled as well. We are looking to host a virtual
AGM in the summer as we work on some societal
issues and moving forward with patient care. The
CAO annual session that was to be held in Kelowna, BC, in September has already been canceled.
Dr. Trista Felty
Secretary, Abbotsford, BC

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Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists Bulletin Summer 2020

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