BDA calls for NI dental reform

Clear timetable must be set says association

The call is being made ahead of the fifth anniversary of the publication of recommendations for the reform of dental services in the Department of Health, Social Security and Public Safety’s Primary Dental Care Strategy. That document, which was published on 16 November 2006, set out a prevention-focused direction for dental services, the care patients receive and the system in which dentists practise.

The BDA has long campaigned for new arrangements that will bring a new preventive emphasis to Health Service dentistry and supported the proposals outlined in 2006. Such arrangements, the BDA believes, will help tackle the unacceptable oral health inequalities that continue to plague Northern Ireland’s communities.

Dr Peter Crooks, Chair of BDA’s Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee, said: “It is now nearly five years since Government set out a vision for better dental care for our citizens. We should, by now, be seeing the implementation of new arrangements.

“Dentists know that continuing with the present arrangements simply isn’t an option if Northern Ireland is serious about tackling the poor oral health and inequalities that plague its communities. We have been positive about the proposed changes, repeatedly stressing our commitment to constructive engagement in taking reform forward. Now is the time for action.

“We call on the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to mark the fifth anniversary of its proposals by re-affirming its commitment to reform and setting out a clear and realistic timetable for it. That timetable must include a date by which pilots for a more prevention-focused contract are expected to begin.&Rdquo;

Source: BDA press release