President of the Irish Dental Association, Dr Eamon Croke on the announcement of extra college places for student dentists:
“We are cautiously optimistic for what today’s announcement means for Irish school leavers wishing to practice dentistry here in Ireland and, most importantly, for patients and people who have been struggling to access dental services and treatments right across the country.
“We welcome Minister Harris and his Department’s intervention and the work that has been happening with the HEA and our academic institutes. While it is not the only factor, the decades of under investment in our dental schools has absolutely contributed to the lack of dental graduates coming through the system each year, the results of which we are now seeing and feeling in the overall staffing and resourcing crisis facing dentists and dental patients.
“We now need to ensure that this plan gets the necessary investment by Government as part of budgetary considerations so that today doesn’t become another finger in the dam of a much bigger disaster.”