Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has expressed alarm over the continuing decline of dentist’s available to treat patients under the Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) in the county.
Figures released to the Sinn Féin TD from the HSE indicate that in the six-year period since 2017 Wicklow has witnessed a drop in excess of 70% of dentist’s signing up to the scheme.
“For several years now I have been raising the issue of the DTSS in Wicklow with the Minister. What is being allowed to happen to Dental services, not just in Wicklow but across the country is a disgrace.
Since 2017 there has been an alarming drop of over 70% of Dentists withdrawing from the DTSS in Wicklow. When we examine the situation nationally, we find that this is another league table of government failure where the Garden County finds itself again amongst the front runners. By any standard, a drop in services in excess of 70% constitutes a collapse of that service, based on the figures released to me by the HSE the national average is approx. 30%.
The number of dentists available to treat medical card holders is being eroded on an increasing basis. With only 16 dentists left in the scheme in the county, people are finding it more and more difficult to access a dentist signed up to the DTSS.
While the current situation is not only leading to delays, and patients having to travel further distances, at even greater personal costs, it is also ruling out access to a dentist for a great many people in Wicklow.
This is not acceptable.
The responsibility for this debacle lies with the Minister. He needs to do whatever needs to be done to resolve this situation. It cannot be left to ordinary people to have to suffer in silence as a result of the Ministers failure. We need to see some answers.”