February 24, 2022
HSE confirm no dentists in Mayo accepting new medical card patients – Rose Conway-Walsh TD

Sinn Féin TD Rose Conway-Walsh has received confirmation from the HSE that there are currently no dentists in Mayo accepting new medical card patients through the Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) in Mayo.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Teachta Conway-Walsh said:

“The Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) in Mayo has completely collapsed. This means people are going without the basic dental care they need.

“The silence on this issue form the Minister is truly alarming.

“The government is carrying on as if this isn’t happening and the HSE continue to list dentists on their website as if the system is still functioning.

“I have repeatedly been raising the lack of access to dentists for medical card holders for over a year now. Each time I was informed of the number of dentists in the system and directed to the website.

“It was only when my office contacted every dentist listed on the HSE website did we learn the extent of the problem.

“I immediately raised the issue with the Minister in the Dáil. It was only then – in response another question to the HSE did they finally share the fact that no dentists in Mayo are accepting new Mayo patients.

“The culture of secrecy needs to end. It is completely unacceptable that the Minister and HSE would not be transparent around the extent of the dental care crisis in Mayo.

“I welcome the Irish Dental Association report this week that highlight the complete inadequacy of the scheme even for medical card holders that can get access. 

“The integrity of any essential health scheme that precludes Dentists from providing vital treatment is cannot be condoned.  Forcing people to have their teeth extracted when they could be saved is appalling.

“There are only 20 dentists in the county who hold DTSS contract. This have fallen from 52 in 2018.

“This hasn’t happened over night. It has taken complete disregard from successive government for the healthcare for the people of Mayo.”

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