Irish dentists criticise medical card scheme, as extractions become more commonplace
Irish dentists have criticised the current medical card scheme after new figures revealed that the number of tooth extractions carried out in the last decade has increased.
The Irish Dental Association has warned that changes to dental benefits have had a negative impact on standards of oral health. A new survey published on Tuesday 29th May suggested that 97% of dentists do not trust the current medical card system and are disillusioned with the range of services it enables them to provide for patients.
Fintan Hourihan, chief executive of the IDA, explained that the current system limits the number of fillings dentists can provide at the same time as enabling an unlimited number of extraction procedures. The result is a dramatic increase in the number of patients having teeth extracted. Figures show there has been a rise of 41 percent in surgical dental extractions and a 12 percent rise in routine extraction procedures in the last ten years.
The new survey shows that the vast majority of dentists feel limited by the scheme, with 96 percent suggesting that they feel unable to provide the same level of care to public patients as private clients. Three-quarters of those surveyed admitted that they would like to leave the Dental Treatment Services Scheme in the next five years.
Mr Hourihan pointed out that the number of people eligible to be involved in the scheme has risen by 24 percent since 2010, but during the same time period, funding has fallen by 24 percent.Join this Discussion