Dr Denis Daly, President of the Irish Dental Benevolent Society, is a man on a mission, as we recently found out.
Rathfarnham-based general dental practitioner Dr Denis Daly wants to ensure that all dentists are aware of the Irish Dental Benevolent Society (IDBS). He especially wants dentists to know what the Society does for dentists and dentists’ families in difficult times.
“Typically, the Society would, in the past, have helped widows of dentists who had died suddenly, relatively young, without adequate insurance, to provide for their families. The Society helped with small but vitally important regular payments,” says Denis. In more recent times, he points out, the crash of the economy and the withdrawal of State support for dentistry has put dentists under more pressure and, when perhaps combined with unforeseen illness, left some dentists in very straitened circumstances.
“There are a lot of dentists whose practices would have consisted of one-third medical card patients; one-third PRSI patients; and one-third private patients. The first two-thirds got effectively wiped out by Government cuts, and private patients were much less inclined to spend any money that they had managed to hold on to in the crash. This resulted in catastrophic drops in income for some practices resulting in subsequent pressure, hardship and illness. We have had several cases only brought to our attention at breaking point, i.e., the point at which the dentist was threatened with no longer being able to put food on the table.”
The Society can help with protecting the family home mortgage, helping to educate dependents, helping to meet health costs such as health insurance or nursing home costs, helping with insurance premiums and helping with once off expenses.
Reluctance can be an issue
Some of the delay in coming to the Society is due to a reluctance to seek help but in other cases, says Denis, there was just no awareness that the IDBS existed and can help in an emergency. He comments: “While we did a campaign to raise our profile about 15 years ago, we think there are many dentists who have entered the profession since then who have no idea that our Society exists and can help. We need them to understand that we are available if they are in financial difficulty – they can contact any member of the IDBS Committee.”
IDBS Officers and Committee
Trustees: John O’Grady, Gerry Murray, David Whitaker
President: Denis Daly
Immediate Past President: Aislinn Machesney
Hon. Secretary: Niamh Molloy
Hon. Treasurer: Mark Kelly
Frank Houston, Marianne McHugh, Conor McAlister, Theo Hanley, Clare Quinlan, Kieran Daly, Gillian Smith, Bernie Fee (Monaghan), Sarah McMorrow (Galway), Joe Lemasney (Limerick), Frank Burke (Cork), Anthony Sweeney (Sligo), Philip Christie (Waterford).
“We need your help”
Denis Daly is unequivocal: “If everyone gives just a little, there will be no problem.” However, the reality is that there is a problem. “The Society needs to replenish the funds it has used up in assisting dentists through the downturn. The good news is that a little helps a lot. The Society only needs dentists to make a small contribution. Donations of just €10 a month or €100 a year from everybody would go a long way. Anything over €250 in a year qualifies for a tax rebate to the Society as it is a registered charity. Can I appeal to all dentists who can afford it to make a regular donation to the Society by standing order? We need your help.”
To make a contribution or to set up a standing order, see www.idbs.ie or contact any of the Committee members.