Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (213)

Niall Collins


213. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health if he will address matters raised in correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42767/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) provides dental treatments to medical card holders. Services currently available annually, without prior approval of the local HSE Principal Dental Surgeon, include an examination, two fillings and emergency extractions. Other more complex care is also provided some of which requires prior approval by a Principal Dental Surgeon. Patients with special needs and high risk patients can avail of a broader range of treatments including a scale and polish on approval of the Principal Dental Surgeon.

The Dental Treatment Benefit Scheme (DTBS), which comes under the remit of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, provides a free oral examination once in a calendar year. It also provides a payment towards either a scale and polish or periodontal treatment, if clinically necessary, once in a calendar year. Eligibility is based on a person's PRSI contributions. The DTBS and the DTSS operate under separate contracts.

Smile agus Sláinte, the National Oral Health Policy, which was published by my Department in April 2019 includes proposals for the introduction of  "packages" of oral healthcare for adult medical card holders at different intervals during their life course. The packages will focus on prevention and will include examinations, advice, and preventive therapies such as scale and polish, fissure sealants, and fluoride therapy. The timeframe for the delivery of the Policy is 2019 to 2026 and  the roll-out of these packages of care will take place incrementally over the next number of years.