Alarm over ‘collapse’ in dental services in Kilkenny
A local TD has expressed alarm at the “collapse” in dental services in Kilkenny and neighbouring Carlow over the last two year.
Deputy Kathleen Funchion warned the problem has now reached “crisis point” and waiting lists for dental and orthodontic treatments soar and dentists drop out of medical card scheme in record numbers.
The Carlow-Kilkenny TD said: “The collapse in dental services for Carlow and Kilkenny is at crisis point, with more than 30% of dentists in the Carlow and Kilkenny area having left the medical card dental scheme in the last five years.
“This crisis is underlined in the collapse in spending on dental treatment in Carlow and Kilkenny by 39%.
“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.”
Deputy Funchion (pictured below) said the burden of accessing dental treatment “disproportionately falls on lower income groups, especially those who rely on medical cards”.
She added: “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.
“Care delayed is care denied and the crisis in health continues to get worse under this Government.”