The Irish Dental Association has welcomed the recognition by an all party Oireachtas committee of the huge damage caused by cuts in state support for patients towards the cost of dental care and treatment during the recession.
The report, by the Oireachtas All Party Committee on the Future of Healthcare, was published this morning.
The Committee recommends re-instating in full, the Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) or Medical Card Scheme, which was cut during the economic crisis and which would cost €17m in year one.
Commenting on this proposal, the Chief Executive of the IDA, Fintan Hourihan said that while increased investment in dental care is to be welcomed, there was an opportunity now to introduce a new and enhanced scheme.
“Trying to repair a fundamentally flawed scheme which was introduced almost a quarter of a century ago, makes no sense. We have to adapt, to learn from the past and introduce a new scheme which is fit for purpose.
“Likewise, we need to build on the limited progress made with the recent discussion on the separate PRSI dental scheme at a time when we are playing catch up following decades of neglect of oral health by the state and a wide range of political parties in Government” he said.