Fianna Fail Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has called for increased service provision for medical card patients in South Kildare.
Senator O’Loughlin said, “I am regularly contacted by people who are entitled to dental services under the terms of their medical card, but simply cannot avail of them due to a lack of provision in our area.”
“We all know the pain and the difficulty that a dental issue, be it an ache, a broken tooth or a indeed braces can bring, and there is no doubt that they are time sensitive. When something needs to be done, it needs to be done quickly to alleviate discomfort.”
“Figures sourced from the HSE show the number of dentists holding Dental Treatment Services Scheme contracts was 1,082 as of last month. However, figures from the start of this year show just 660 dentists across the country were actively treating medical card patients.”
“This number down significantly from 1,660 dentists holding DTSS contract in 2017. We have seen the same demand for dental services, if not an increase in the demand for dental services and at the same time a reduction in provision.”
“I do acknowledge the expansion of dental services for medical card holders which was announced in April. Significant funding, €26 million of an additional spend has been invested when compared to last year. But we need to see the results of that now.”
Fiona concluded by saying “The people of South Kildare need adequate access to dental services and the lack of provision is hitting lower income households and the elderly most. We need to see a better system.”