WA dentists unite to donate their masks and time to hospitals

Posted on 26th March 2020

Three dentists from ADAWA

West Australian dentists are compiling their masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to donate to their medical colleagues on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis.

Dr David Hallett, Australian Dental Association of Western Australia CEO, says the enthusiasm of the dentists involved shows the goodwill of members who prioritise the wellbeing of the community.

“We have been humbled by the generosity of the many dentists who have elected to wind down or close their practices and have offered to donate masks and other PPE to the public health system,” he says.

The generosity shown by these dentists is a far cry from the accusation that dentists were wasting masks in a story published by 9News on March 25 (since deleted), which criticised dentists for “using masks to improve smiles as lifesaving hospital supplies dry up”.

“The story was inaccurate and disappointing on every level,” Dr Hallett says. “Every day, dentists help keep their patients pain free and away from the Emergency Department. Our priority is to keep our patients healthy. The willingness to volunteer and enthusiasm to collect and donate their PPE, demonstrates that even for dentists who have closed up practice, the wellbeing of the community at large continues to be their priority.”

As well as donating their PPE, many dentists are also offering their services to the WA Health Department.

“We are being inundated with calls and emails from members offering their services to the Department of Health, should extra health personnel be required in any capacity, from telephone enquiries response to providing services on the frontline,” Dr Hallett reveals. “Dental practitioners and dental support staff are very well qualified to serve in this capacity, so we are coordinating a call to action for our members.”

The Australian Dental Association of Western Australia branch is currently providing couriers to collect masks and other PPE for donation from their dentist members, and are coordinating the donations to ensure they go to where they are most needed.

The ADAWA CEO has also been in touch with the Health Department and is organising a list of dentists who are willing to provide their services.

For further information or interview requests, contact Lisa Shearon, ADAWA Media and Communications Manager, media@adawa.com.au

Fast facts:
The Australian Dental Association of Western Australia is collecting masks and other Personal Protective Equipment from dentists who have elected to close their practices to donate to the public health system.

The Australian Dental Association of Western Australia is coordinating a cohort of dentists offering their services to the Department of Health, should extra health personnel be required in any capacity, from telehealth, to providing services on the frontline.

About the Australian Dental Association of Western Australia
In Western Australia, ADAWA is regarded as the recognised voice of dentistry. With around 92% of registered dentists and dental specialists across the private and public sectors as members, the Association provides a most effective representative body.

ADAWA strives to promote the art and science of dentistry, to represent the profession and to provide services, which promote the highest level of oral health in the community.