Written Answers. - School Dental Service.

672.

asked the Minister for Health if the school dental service is available to children between 12 and 16 years of age; if not, the reason; and the cost of extending it to them.

The following children in the 12-16 years age group already have eligibility for free dental services: (a) Those requiring treatment for defects noticed at child health examinations for pupils of national schools; (b) Those who are dependants of medical card holders; (c) Those given eligibility under the hardship provisions.

The estimated cost of extending eligibility to other 12-16 year olds is approximately £3 million in a full year. When finance and staff permit, eligibility will be extended to children in this age group.