“Laois Offaly identified as the worst area in Ireland for accessing dental care.” Carol Nolan

Independent TD for Laois Offaly, Carol Nolan, has been informed that school children within the constituency who should be seen by the HSE dental service three times before age twelve are only seeing a dentist for the first time when they are well into secondary school. 

Deputy Nolan was briefed on the crisis within Laois and Offaly’s dental health care system by the Irish Dentists Association after being invited to an emergency meeting held at the  Park Hotel, Portlaoise:

“I have been consistently raising the enormous challenges that people in Laois and Offaly are confronted with as they attempt to access even the most minimal levels of dental care,” said Deputy Nolan.

“However, even I was horrified to hear about how far the levels of service availability have degraded. We now know that children in Laois are not receiving the first of their three dental checks until they are in their fourth year of secondary school, while the situation in Offaly reveals that they are not being seen until second year.”

“From the data gathered by the Irish Dental Association it is now clear that Laois Offaly is the worst area in Ireland for accessing dental care. That is both a stark assessment and a source of shame for this Government.”

“There needs to be an immediate commencement of discussions with the IDA to address the crisis in recruitment and retention of dentists. In addition to this an urgent ministerial direction to the Department of Health must be issued in order to commence independently chaired discussions with the IDA on a new scheme to replace the existing medical card scheme.”

“I will continue my efforts to try and bring about urgent reform of the current contract model, particularly as it applies to medical card holders and children who urgently require dental and orthodontic treatment,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

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