25 Jun 2019, 15.29

The Joint Committee on Health will resume its hearings on the National Oral Health Policy in Leinster House tomorrow, Wednesday, 26 June at 9a.m.

Officials from the Department of Health, HSE and the independent Oral Health Policy Academic Reference Group will attend the hearing in Committee Room 3.

Speaking in advance of the hearing, Committee chair, Dr Michael Harty TD said: “We have heard from the Irish Dental Association who said that the States new oral health policy was economically unviable and operationally unworkable. These are serious claims and tomorrow’s meeting presents an opportunity for those involved in devising the plan to assure the Committee that the new policy will work for the betterment of all our citizens”.

“Of critical concern to the Committee will be the need to focus on prevention as well as treatment of tooth decay. The new policy encourages people, and children in particular, to visit the dentist and this will overtime replace the school screening programme. There is a danger that this change could lead to a poorer outcomes for low income households as they are only likely to visit the dentist when irreparable damage has already occurred and this is something the Committee will want to address.”

Smile and Sláinte  the National Oral Health Policy was launched by the Department of Health earlier this year.

The Irish Dental Association and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) attended the first of the Health Committee’s hearings on the new policy, which was held in 15th May.

The Oral Health Policy Academic Reference Group was set up to help provide the Department of Health with the best evidence that could be used to improve oral health in Ireland.

Committee proceedings can be viewed live here.

Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the move, through the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

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Petrina Vousden
Houses of the Oireachtas
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Twitter: @OireachtasNews

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