Written answers

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)
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390. To ask the Minister for Health if he will address the matter of dentists no longer seeing patients with medical cards (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25188/21]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) provides dental care, free of charge to medical card holders aged 16 and over. These services are provided by independent dental practitioners who have a contract with the HSE. Patients may choose to have their treatment undertaken by any dentist who participates in the Scheme.

I am aware that there has been a reduction in the numbers of dentists participating in the DTSS since the beginning of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Some people are experiencing problems in accessing a service close to their home, however, I have been assured by the HSE that their local services on the ground will assist any persons who are experiencing problems in accessing a service.

I want to ensure the sustainability and viability of the DTSS so that all eligible persons can continue to receive the services that they deserve from their local dentist of choice. My commitment to the profession and to the public is for a review of the Scheme, in keeping with Smile agus Sláinte, the National Oral Health Policy. I have asked officials in my Department to engage with the Irish Dental Association on all of these matters.


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