A dentist in Tipperary explains in the Irish Times how the failing Irish economy and poor decisions by the national Health Services Executive have jeopardized dental care for Irish patients, especially the most vulnerable in society:
"The continuing confusion surrounding these two dental benefit schemes has had two significant effects. Firstly, the most vulnerable in our society are being denied basic dental treatment - something I personally find shameful in a supposed civilised society.
Secondly, dentists have seen up to 80 per cent of their business simply disappear. The substantive issue of medical card treatments will not be heard in court until December. The PRSI scheme remains effectively collapsed.
Throughout Ireland, dentists are working three-day weeks, putting nurses on part-time and, in some cases, shuttering up for good.
This current situation, with PRSI patients disincentivised from maintaining adequate oral health and medical card patients denied basic dental services, sounded the death knell for my single-handed country practice whose life-blood was the two State benefit schemes."
Read the full story "Why I'm Closing My Practice" here.