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Poots launches consultation on dental services

The Health Minister has launched a public consultation on proposed changes to how dental services are provided across Northern Ireland.
Monday, 7 January 2013

Minister Poots said: “At a time when budgets across the HSC are under pressure, it is important to consider whether we are currently delivering dental services in the most efficient manner.

“While changes must be made so that the pressure on the General Dental Services budget can be addressed, I want to make sure we minimise any impact on patient’s oral health or the dental profession.”

The consultation paper sets out a number of proposed changes to Health Service dental treatments, including:

  • Introducing criteria for orthodontic treatment so that it is provided on the basis of need;
  • Moving to a core service of treatments available through the Health Service and limiting the availability of more cosmetic treatments;
  • Extending the length of time between scale and polish treatments from three to nine months; and
  • Altering the conditions for allowances paid to dentists.

The Minister added: “I encourage everyone to engage with this consultation process and have their say on the proposed changes.

“I recognise that patients may be worried that they will no longer be able to receive the same levels of treatment from their dentist. However, I would like to reassure the public that all treatments will still be available to patients where they are clinically appropriate.”

Notes to editors:

1. The consultation will run until 3 April 2013. The consultation paper is available on the DHSSPS website

2. Media queries about this press release to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0571 or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.