Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ceisteanna (111, 112)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

111. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost in 2019 of implementing the new national oral health policy; the estimated full year cost of the complete implementation of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16785/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

112. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the timeframe for the implementation of the new national oral health policy; his plans to bring forward an implementation plan for the policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16786/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 and 112 together.

The new National Oral Health Policy, "Smile agus Sláinte" was published on 3rd April 2019. 

The Policy supports a preventive approach. It includes proposals for the introduction of  packages of care for children from birth to 16 years of age to be delivered by contracted local dental practices and preventive packages of care to be made available for all eligible adults at different intervals during their life course.

The ESRI worked with my Department to provide indicative costings for the delivery of various interventions under the proposed packages and it is estimated that the cost of implementing the packages in full would be in the region of €80m.

I wish to advise the Deputy that the timeframe for the delivery of the Policy is 2019 to 2026 and that the roll-out of these packages of care  will take place incrementally over the next number of years.

The focus in 2019 and into 2020 will largely be on putting in place the appropriate governance frameworks; the development of oral health promotion programmes; and the establishment of oral health assessment programmes, the cost of which can be accommodated from within existing budgetary resources and streams. 

A key priority of mine for 2020 is the introduction of packages of care  for children under 6 years of age and I will be seeking funding for this under the Estimates 2020 process.