Dentists, staff facing threats as patients react 'very badly' to P.E.I.'s new restrictions

Dentists, staff facing threats as patients react 'very badly' to P.E.I.'s new restrictions
'The dentists of P.E.I. have been on their own since the pandemic began,' says Brian Barrett, executive director of the Dental Association of P.E.I.  (CBC /Radio-Canada - image credit)
'The dentists of P.E.I. have been on their own since the pandemic began,' says Brian Barrett, executive director of the Dental Association of P.E.I. (CBC /Radio-Canada - image credit)

The Dental Association of P.E.I. says its members have noticed an increase in the number of patients complaining about measures meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Brian Barrett, the association's executive director, says some dentists and their staff are frustrated about having to deal with angry complaints from people who don't want to comply with the restrictions.

"The dentists of P.E.I. have been on their own since the pandemic began," he said.

"We try to be very proactive in continuing to provide this health care in spite of the pandemic, and recently some patients have been coming into dental offices and reacting very badly to some of the restrictions that have been asked of them."

'Beyond my understanding'

Barrett said that in a few cases, staff and dental care providers have even been threatened.

"That somebody would get very upset being required to wear a mask entering a health care facility is beyond my understanding," he said.

"They've gotten very upset, threatened the dentists with all kinds of other acts, from picketing their office to taking them to court because they've been asked to wear a mask."

Barrett said the situation has gotten worse following the announcement of the P.E.I. Vax Pass, which is now required for access to non-essential business.

"People may seem to think that because they're going to a dental office and it's an essential service in their minds that the dentist should treat them without any restrictions at all," he said.

"That's simply not the case."

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