The Irish Dental Association has said that a 2% reduction in HSE spending at a time when the number of medical card holders has increased by 500,000 will mean thousands of card holders will now be denied proper dental care.
Responding to a Budget health briefing, the Chief Executive of the IDA, Fintan Hourihan said it was clear the Government had abandoned its pre-election promises and that medical card holders would again bear the brunt of cutbacks.
"There was no mention of dental care for medical card patients at the briefing which tells its own story. However we know that a 2% reduction in HSE spending will translate into a double digit cut in per capita spending for medical card holders" Hourihan said.
At the briefing it was confirmed that the number of card holders has increase by 500,000 since 2007.
"These are savage cuts and clearly show the Government has abandoned its pre-election promise to prioritise prevention in dental care. We will be paying for this decision well beyond the four year plan outlined by the Taoiseach on Sunday night" Hourihan concluded.