Government not showing ‘necessary urgency’ in solving dental issues


The government will be accused of not dealing with the concerns of Irish dentists with the “necessary urgency or priority”.

Representatives from the Irish Dental Association (IDA) will tell a parliamentary committee on Wednesday morning that Ireland is working to address challenges around equitable access to dental care, patient safety and workforce and capacity.

The IDA states that more than 80% of dental care costs are paid out of pocket by patients.

They will say the health card scheme has “been in disarray for years” and point out that a meeting with Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly to discuss a new scheme to pay dentists has yet to take place – three years after it was promised by the government.

Fintan Hourihan, President of the Irish Dental Association (IDA).
Fintan Hourihan, President of the Irish Dental Association (IDA).

In a statement to the committee, IDA chief executive Fintan Hourihan will explain: “Dentists feel that we are always an excuse or a promise for anything the country does.”

He said the number of junior doctors had increased by 52% between 2012 and 2021, hospital consultants by 44% and nurses by 20%. 2022.

The IDA will highlight that there were 30,000 adults and more than 5,000 children on the CUH outpatient waiting list in December.

They did say that the only “hope we can cling to” is the World Health Organization's Global Oral Health Strategy – to which the government is a signatory.

Mr Houlihan concluded: “We still have a lot to do and the state has a central role to play in making dental care more accessible, ensuring patient safety and ensuring we have as many dentists as possible to deliver the services needed. “We Citizens expect the highest standards of dental care and treatment.



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