National News

Helpless dentists cry for help: ‘Dr Alvi, are you listening to us?’

Karachi: In some regions of Karachi, people are still fighting the record floods. Both private homes and many business facilities have been destroyed by the vast and unexpected masses of water. Among those affected are dentists whose practices have been damaged.

According to sources, many dentists have been affected due to the urban flooding that occurred in Karachi. Private dental practices were setback by the torrential rain. The exact figure to determine the financial loss is still yet to be known. However, many dentists could be affected and could now be fighting to salvage their businesses.

The debris-laden water has caused significant damage to dental offices and dental equipment. The dental clinics established in Karachi’s upscale areas were affected as much as any other region in the metropolis.

Talking to Dental News, Dr Umar, who runs his DHA Karachi practice, said, “Yes we have suffered a lot. Our compressors and units got affected. Our computers and X-ray’s systems got affected. Our infra-structure got affected. Still, everything is in repairing process so can’t estimate the rupees (sic).”

Prof. Dr Fazal Ur Rehman Qazi shared that rain and urban flooding created a substantial financial setback of up to “Rs 4-5 lacs.” Similarly, Dr Kashif Chugtai said that the loss went up to “1 lac.”

Dr Shajahan Katpar, Dean, Dow University of Health Sciences, shared, “As we have a hospital-based clinical dental practice, the setback has not been as many other private practices, but it definitely has been on the financial and social level.”

“Today finally with naturally water went down after 8 days that we could access the clinic that too via wooden planks. No municipal administration insight. We finally opened clinic after 8 days, but still no electricity (sic),” told Dr Amir Rasheed.

Another dentist, who request to remain anonymous said, “The setback pandemic lockdown has caused our practice was nothing as compared to the destruction of rain. Moreover, no help came from the government where the President happens to be a dentist. ‘Dr President’ are you listening to us?”

The ramifications of these unprecedented storms will continue to evolve. What cannot be quantified at this time is the long-term consequences of the unavailability of healthcare services during the hurricane recovery process ahead.

With the loss of property, transportation, business, and income, it may be likely that Karachi residents will be less able to afford future dental care, especially in non-emergency situations. This will likely lead to a long-term decrease in revenue in the industry and negatively affect those who live and work in this area. Over time, this situation should be monitored to quantify the long-term economic impact as the states rebuild fully.

-DN Report

September 15, 2020

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