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Irish Dentists Wipe The Smiles Off Their Patients

As Ireland still struggles with the chaos created by striking nurses, dentists have thrown in their bit of fuel, into the fire. //

Over a million medical card holders stand to lose access to free oral healthcare, in the wake of the Irish Dental Association (IDA) voting for a withdrawal of support for the Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS).

According to the IDA, the DTSS scheme set up in 1994 to provide free oral care for the less well off has been due for renegotiation since 2000.

Currently, more than 90 percent of dentists registered under the IDA have withdrawn support to this scheme which means that medical card holders will now have to pay from their own pocket, all chargers incurred while visiting their local area dentist.

According to Dr Maurice Quirke, Chairman of the General Dental Practitioner Group of the IDA, the actual facts are that many dentists can no longer afford to absorb the losses associated with the administration and provision of services under the medical card scheme.

Quirke was quoted: "The HSE will undoubtedly suggest that dentists receive vast sums of money under the scheme. However, while these figures will provide good headlines and may indeed look generous, they fail to cover the cost of many individual treatment items to medical card holders."

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