Tipperary TD Martin Browne warned of a dental crisis in County Tipperary as people in the dental treatment services program wait up to six years for some treatments.
He expressed concern that the current medical card system is no longer sustainable.
“Earlier this year, I highlighted how the number of dentists operating DTSS in County Tipperary has dramatically declined in recent years as the program is outdated and no longer reflects operational costs.
“Unfortunately, I have been informed by county dentists that this decline continues as there has been no movement in revising the diet,” said Sinn Féin TD.
Deputy Browne said a County Tipperary dentist told him he could no longer afford to take additional patients with a medical card because the program no longer covered the costs of dental repairs and afterwards 40 years old, he couldn’t stick to the diet much longer in his current state.
According to the Irish Dental Association, the Ministry of Health’s slow movement on the issue meant that “the current crisis is going to get worse before things get better,” he said.
“The project is on the verge of collapse. It is failing people across Co Tipperary, and the Department of Health needs to commit to reviewing it and paying more than lip service to our dental professionals, ”the Cashel-based TD said.
“The South East Community Healthcare chief of primary care office told me that if a person” follows the guidelines for HSE orthodontic treatment during assessment, the current wait time is approximately 72 months, ” He said, “That equates to six years of a young person’s life.
He warned that this can lead parents of young children to go into heavy debt or even go to pawn shops for private treatment.
MP Browne said allowing such a situation to occur in County Tipperary was “sheer negligence” on the part of the Department of Health.
“Entire areas of County Tipperary are affected by these scandals,” he said.