The Irish Dental Association strongly opposes the publication of DTSS payments to named dentists, which we believe is in breach of privacy protections available to dentists and which is provided without any context or background.
We have made our views known to the HSE and we are extremely disappointed that have chosen to proceed and provide details of payments to named dental contractors in 2014.
When the HSE ceased publication of the payments last year in response to representations made by the IDA to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner we welcomed it and we cannot now understand the reason for this policy reversal.
The HSE appears to be confusing the release of financial information with the proposed release of personal details and we reiterate our opposition to the release of the names of the dentists holding DTSS contracts.
Previously we had raised our concerns with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner on this issue as we believed that the publication of payments represented a breach of privacy as recognised by law internationally and was made without the consent of the dentists concerned.
The publication of these payments presents a misleading impression and suggests that these are the levels of income dentists earn when in fact they reflect payments towards the cost of treatment provided, the vast bulk of which relates to practice and staff running costs, materials used and everyday overheads. When these other costs are factored in it’s clear the payment for professional services to dentists constitutes a small portion of the overall payment.
The IDA will discuss these developments with our legal advisers in the coming days.