Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that he is shocked to see spending on the Dental Treatment Services Scheme in the Dublin South West area drop by 37% between 2017 and 2020, representing a decrease of €800,000 in how much the Government is spending on dental services for people with medical cards.
Teachta Crowe said:
“Government spending on the Dental Treatment Services Scheme in the Dublin South West area dropped by 37% between 2017 and 2020. This represents a drop of €800,000 and is an astonishing loss of services to those on medical cards in the area.
“The DTSS provides dental examination, extractions, and a limited root canal service to those on medical cards and is relied upon by almost 60,000 people in the Dublin South West area.
“At a meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee that I chaired yesterday, I was shocked to hear about the terrible conditions that dentists and their patients are forced into by the lack of Government investment in the service.
“People on medical cards are only entitled to root canal on the front six teeth, but none at the back. The Government has literally put a price tag on people’s back teeth. It is little wonder that dentists are leaving the service in their droves after being denied any meaningful support by the Government.
“This loss of dentists from the scheme means hundreds of people are without any dental cover under the scheme in their area and necessary work to improve dental health and quality of life is going undone.
“The DTSS must be radically overhauled and expanded. I am calling on the Government to work with the Irish Dental Association to see how we can keep dentists in the system and provide real dental care for those who need it.”