asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will outline the measures he has taken to solve the dispute between his Department and dentists in the County Mayo region concerning the provision of dental treatment to insured persons.
Written Answers. - Mayo Dental Service.
As already indicated in reply to earlier questions on this subject, the names of certain dentists in County Mayo were removed from the dental panel in 1978 for refusing to comply with the terms of their agreement. A further six dentists in the area withdrew from the scheme in sympathy with their colleagues.
There are still a number of dentists operating the scheme in the county. Insured persons who are qualified under the scheme and who are unable to obtain treatment in their own area are allowed travelling or other expenses necessarily incurred in going to another dentist on the panel in County Mayo or in neighbouring countries.
In recent months two of the dentists who had withdrawn have rejoined the panel. I sincerely hope that the remaining dentists in the area will resume their participation in the scheme as soon as possible.
I would like to add that the officials of my Department are available at all times for any discussions with the Irish Dental Association on any grievances or suggestions which the dentists in County Mayo might wish to put forward with a view to resolving the situation.