Harvard to close student, faculty dental clinic, cites financial hardship

Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard University will offset financial strains by closing its dental clinic and pharmacy Dec. 31, The Harvard Crimson reported.

In an Oct. 13 email sent to Harvard students, faculty and staff, Harvard University Health Services spokesperson Michael Perry said the closures do not reflect the quality of services the entities delivered or the way they were managed.

"Both the Dental Service and Pharmacy have been facing significant financial pressures over the past several years due to forces outside of their control," the email stated. "The Dental Service has struggled to break even, with mixed results."

"The economics of the pharmacy business have changed over the past several years, making it very difficult for smaller pharmacies to break even or be profitable," according to the email.

The dental clinic will complete prepaid procedures and care underway, give patients free copies of their dental records upon request and provide referrals to in-network dental providers through the end of the year, according to The Harvard Crimson.

Benjamin Costa, DMD, told The Harvard Crimson he thinks the closures will worst affect students who are not otherwise able to access dental care.

"Where are they going to go for dental care?" Dr. Costa told The Harvard Crimson. "What's going to happen to the clinic? We would like to know for our patients. And we don’t know."

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