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Friday, 7th June 2024

“It is totally unacceptable that our children can’t rely on basic dental checks” - Munster

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Deputy Imelda Munster.

With a record 5,513 primary school children in Louth and Meath waiting for dental treatment, Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster says the primary school dental checks scheme in the area has reached crisis point.

Deputy Munster was commenting on figures released to her in response to a parliamentary question which show that there are currently 2,899 children on the waiting list in 6th class national schools in Louth, and 2,614 in Meath, for the school year 2023/2024.

Just two years ago these figures were 672 in Louth and 785 in Meath.

“Public dental care has collapsed under this government” Deputy Munster said. “It’s clear that the primary school scheme is not coping and is not providing anywhere near the level of service required.

“The Dental Treatment Service Scheme (DTSS), which provides dental care to medical card holders has collapsed in recent years, and this has had a knock on effect as other public dental services are covering emergency cases that cannot be dealt with under that scheme.

“The response I received says that in light of available resources the scheme is only targeting 6th class children for routine dental checks.

“The scheme is nearly three years behind in Louth and Meath, with the service currently targeting 6th class of 2021-2022.

“It is totally unacceptable that our children can’t rely on basic dental checks under this government. These checks are vital to ensure that any dental or oral problems can be diagnosed and treated early and to promote lifelong dental health for our children.

“The collapse of the DTSS and the school dental checks scheme is another shameful legacy that this government will leave behind them. The Minister for Health has completely reneged on his duty to solve this problem. It’s clearly not a priority.”

 

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