JAMMU, May 11: Members of the J&K Dental Council (JKDC) today called on the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of J&K Bank Rajesh Kumar Chhibber and while highlighting the difficulties faced by them due to economic distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the UT, they requested for economic support measures for the dentist fraternity especially the private practitioners.
The delegation comprising of Registrar J&K Dental Council Dr Ritesh Gupta, HoD OMDR Dr Satvinder Singh and Lecturer Dental College Dr Bhanu Kotwal met the CMD at the Bank’s Zonal Office Jammu (Central I) and apprised him about the “difficult times” currently faced by the dental practitioners.
“Our profession is one of the worst affected due to the pandemic. It requires close physical proximity to treat a patient thereby increasing the chances of contracting the COVID-19 infection. Also, the dental clinics require huge amount of money to set-up, run and maintain plus the additional costs to fulfill SOPs for COVID-19. The total number of dental surgeons in the UT is around 5000 out of which almost 3500 are unemployed and solely depend upon private practice to sustain themselves”, the delegates told CMD.
They regretted that many dental practitioners simply do not have the reserves or cannot accommodate the dramatic reduction of income due to the lockdown. Putting forth their demands, the delegates requested the CMD to consider interest waiver on existing loans availed by the practitioners, minimum maintenance accounts, and support for upgrading dental clinics among other things.
Lending a patient ear to the problems faced by the dentist fraternity, the CMD while assuring full support to them within the ambit of regulatory guidelines, underscored that the bank has already in place a tailor-made loan product-J&K Bank Heath Plus Scheme-devised to cater to the financial needs of healthcare professionals including dentists.
The CMD said bank has already extended the moratorium on EMI and 10 pc additional facility in the working capital limit of the J&K Bank Health Plus scheme. He also assured that other demands expressed by the delegation would also be looked into in the ambit of the regulatory framework.