World news – « Use it or Lose it » coupons should be considered for the dental needs of lower-income groups, says dentists


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A reduction in spending will result in large numbers of patients losing access to the dental care they need to maintain their dental health, « said the Irish Dental Association.

The Oireachtas Health Committee is due today advised that a « new approach » to addressing the dental needs of lower-income groups in Ireland is urgently needed.

The Association will inform members that the currently failed model, as reflected in the Dental Treatment Services Scheme ( DTSS) is “no longer viable”.

The system provides adult medical card holders with access to limited dental treatment, such as dental care. B. a dental examination, two fillings per calendar year and, if necessary, extractions.

The total expenditure for the program fell from over 63 million EUR in 2017 to 40 million EUR in 2020.

The committee will hear that the number of DTSS contracts held by dentists nationwide fell by 31% from the current 1,847 to less than 1,200 between 2015 and 2020.

Due to this decline in funding and the involvement of dentists, the association sees itself with patients with medical Cards now face significant delays in finding treatment.

Patients with health cards have longer travel times, as dentists will say today, because of the number of dentists that can be used, while stressing that the Public dental service is significantly underfunded to meet the demand it is facing.

The program has been among dentists too has led to significant « anger and disenchantment » and « lifelong embarrassment, decreased nutrition and loss of wellbeing » in patients across Ireland who do not have access to the dental care they need, the committee will hear.

Fintan Hourihan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of IDA, will announce today that changes for the benefit of patients were urgently needed.

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« The health card system is on the verge of collapse, affecting 1.5 million eligible patients whose access to dental care has decreased significantly over the past decade.

 » The pandemic has highlighted the utter inadequacies of this system . An unprecedented number of dentists have withdrawn because they cannot afford to attend. « 

IDA believes that new models of access need to be explored, such as a co-payment system similar to the PRSI dentist system and falls under the benefit system for dental care, with a small cash payment for people such as check-ups and cleaning for those who have enough PRSI grants.

The association will also propose state-funded vouchers for use or loss of Use coupons to prevent patient participation in dental exams and possibly others Promote treatments in agreement with dentists.

Dentists also believe that extending the tax relief system to routine dental treatments should be considered.

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« Use It Or Lose It » Coupons should be considered for the dental needs of lower income groups, says the dentist



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