Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Questions (237)

Robert Troy

Question:

237. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if a review will be carried out into the dental care provided to long-stay patients at nursing home facilities (details supplied); his plans to amend legislation in this area in order to provide a greater level of service by allowing dental hygienists to visit nursing homes independently; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40698/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

A new National Oral Health Policy is currently being finalised by my Department and I expect it will be published later this year. The Policy will replace the Dental Health Action Plan, published in 1994, and on which the provision of dental services in Ireland is currently based.

The aim of the policy is to develop a model of care that will enable preventative approaches to be prioritised, improve access, and support interventions appropriate to current and future oral health needs including those of long stay patients in nursing home facilities.

My Department is also currently developing new legislation to replace the Dentists Act 1985. The regulation and role of dental hygienists is being examined in the context of this new legislation. The drafting of the scheme of the Bill has commenced, however it is at an early stage.