Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West Mark Ward has expressed alarm at the collapse of dental services in Dublin West in the last two years.
Teachta Ward said that this has reached crisis point as waiting lists for dental and orthodontic treatments soar, and dentists drop out of medical card scheme in record numbers.
Teachta Ward said:
“The collapse in dental services for Dublin West is at crisis point, with more than 69% of dentists in the Dublin West area having left the medical card dental scheme in the last 5 years.
“This crisis is underlined in the collapse in spending on dental treatment in Dublin West by 43%.
“The Irish Dental Association highlighted their concerns recently in the Health Committee, stating that difficulty in accessing dental treatment contributes to poor oral health and greater healthcare costs.
“The burden of this disproportionately falls on lower income groups, especially those who rely on medical cards.
“Dentists have expressed ethical as well as practical concerns about unilateral cuts to the dental scheme imposed during austerity.
“This devastated dentists’ ability to deliver quality care to medical card patients.
“The HSE dental and orthodontic waiting lists continue to spiral out of control.
“There are now more than 1,073 people waiting more than 2 years for orthodontic services, and 327 waiting more than 4.
“The number of patients seen by HSE Oral Health in Dublin Mid-West collapsed last year by .
“Care delayed is care denied and the crisis in health continues to get worse under this Government.”