Tenerife dental clinic reports increase in calls from Irish patients during lockdown

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A dental clinic in Tenerife has reported a surge in calls from Irish patients during lockdown. Roberta Beccaris, from Clinica del Sur in Tenerife, said that there had been a sharp rise in the number of calls from Irish patients who were requesting appointments during lockdown.

Unusually, patients were asking for email confirmation to prove that they had an appointment booked. Unfortunately for the clinic, most patients are either failing to turn up to appointments or calling to cancel at short notice.
Ms Beccaris suggested that patients based in Ireland were using dental appointments as a means to get around current travel restrictions, which prevent people from going on holiday.

International travel is currently permitted for essential reasons only. Under the guidelines set out by the government, medical and dental appointments are justified reasons to travel.

Ms Beccaris indicated that patients were making appointments to enable them to travel and then failing to attend because they didn’t actually need or want treatment. The situation is frustrating for the team, as patients who don’t want an appointment are taking up valuable slots and preventing patients who do need to see a dentist from getting an appointment.

The clinic treats a lot of clients from the UK and Ireland, Ms Beccaris explained, but there has been a significant shift in the types of clients calling to make appointments. While many of those who usually attend the clinic are older patients, it’s young people who are calling and asking for email confirmation. Ms Beccaris said that it has become increasingly clear that people are trying to exploit the system to book a holiday.

Fines for those who travel without an essential reason are due to increase from 500 to 2,000 euros.

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