Wicklow Sinn Féin TD, John Brady, today voiced his alarm over the falling rate of Dentists participating in the Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS). In Wicklow the number of Dentists participating in the DTSS has reduced by more than 50% since 2017.
The Wicklow TD said:
“Figures released to me by the HSE indicate an alarming fall off in the rate of Dentists who are signed up to contracts with the HSE under the DTSS.
“All medical card holders in the state are eligible for access to dental treatment under the DTSS. But individuals are finding it increasingly difficult to source a dentist under this scheme. I have been contacted by a number of people from across Wicklow who have found it near impossible to find a dentist that is participating in the scheme in their local area.”
“From 2017 we have witnessed a decrease from 52 to 25 dentists in 2021, who are operating under the scheme in County Wicklow. This is less than half of what it was in 2017.”
“This situation is not only leading to delays, it is resulting in patients having to travel further distances, while incurring even more costs. This is not acceptable. Medical card holders are entitled to access dental care under this scheme, and the Minister for Health has a responsibility to make sure that that happens.”
“‘The government is asleep on this issue – it has been flagged to them for a number of years now – and still, there is no resolution in sight.”
“In the meantime, medical card holders are facing worry and concern in relation to their dental care.”
“I am calling on Minister Donnelly to do what needs to be done to resolve this situation. If this means he needs to sit down with the Irish Dental Association and sort this mess out, then that’s what he will have to do.”
The current situation cannot be allowed to continue.”