Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Questions (324)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

324. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Health his plans to address the crisis in the dental treatment services scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28270/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) provides dental care, free of charge to medical card holders aged 16 and over. These services are provided by independent dental practitioners who have a contract with the HSE. Patients may choose to have their treatment undertaken by any dentist who participates in the Scheme.

I am aware that there has been a reduction in the numbers of dentists participating in the DTSS since the beginning of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Some people are experiencing problems in accessing a service close to their home. However, I have been assured by the HSE that their local services on the ground will assist any persons who are experiencing problems in accessing a service.

I am committed to ensuring the sustainability and viability of the DTSS, which will need to be revised to align it with modern evidence. There was an intention to commence a review of the DTSS contract last year. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, this was not possible. Officials in my Department are currently engaging with the Irish Dental Association to commence this process.

Question No. 325 answered with Question No. 284.