Public dental service failing school children, special needs patients and teenagers
Staff shortages leading to soaring waiting list
A leading representative of the Irish Dental Association has described the impact of staff shortages on the public dental service as simply unacceptable for a first world country.
Dr Iseult Bouarroudj, the newly elected President of the HSE Dental Surgeon group, said the current recruitment embargo was having a hugely negative impact on the availability of services and was failing our primary school children, special needs patients and teenagers.
“Where services have been reduced we have seen an increase in patients presenting with pain and infection, necessitating complex treatment and in certain circumstances, acute hospital admission. Waiting lists for treatment under general anaesthesia, orthodontics and oral surgery have soared due to the lack of resources. This is a reprehensible consequence of the circumstances which now prevails in our public dental service.”
Dr Bouarroudj was speaking to over 100 dentists at the HSE Dental Surgeons Group annual seminar which took place at the Mullingar Park Hotel this week.
The 350 public service dentists see over 250,000 children every year. In addition they care for some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in our society; the elderly and young people in the care of the HSE, those with intellectual, physical and special needs etc.
Dr Bouarroudj also said that despite the continued efforts of staff to provide the best service, morale in the public dental sector had plummeted.
“We are calling on the Minister for Health to reinstate sufficient numbers of staff in all HSE areas to ensure patients of the public dental service and orthodontic service have access to equitable services, irrespective of geographic location” she said.
Dr Bouarroudj, who is originally from Wexford, has worked for the HSE throughout the Longford/Westmeath area for the last thirteen years. She lives in Mullingar with her three young boys. She thanked her predecessor Dr Padraig Halvey for all his hard work and said she was extremely honoured to take up the Presidency of the Public Dental Surgeons committee for the coming year.
For Further Information
Contact Kieran Garry
01/6650455 or 087/2368366