Coalition urged to follow through on election promises

Commitments made on the campaign trail must be honoured

The new coalition government must deliver on the promises both parties made on dental health issues during the election campaign, according to the Irish Dental Association (IDA).

Both Fine Gael and Labour indicated that they would reinstate the Medical Card Dental Scheme, fill the long-vacant post of chief dental officer and review the PRSI Dental Scheme.

IDA Chief Executive Fintan Hourihan congratulated new Minister for Health Dr James Reilly (pictured), Minister of State in charge of primary care Roisin Shortall and the new Minister for Social Protection (with responsibility for the PRSI Dental Scheme) Joan Burton.

He said: "The IDA wishes all three new ministers well in their portfolios and looks forward to meeting with them at the earliest opportunity to discuss dental health issues.

"Besides delivering on the above commitments, we are looking forward to engaging with them on the PRSI Dental Scheme, the need to fill critical vacancies in the Public Dental Service and the restoration of a number of services provided by dentists to children and special needs patients."

The IDA said the commitment given by Fine Gael to renegotiate the contract between the IDA and the HSE for services rendered under the Medical Card Scheme was most welcome. "This is a hugely important topic for patients and dentists given the HSE made a unilateral decision last year to severely restrict the scope of the scheme. Restricting the scheme to emergency care only was short sighted in the extreme and we hope the new minister will show the HSE the error of its ways," said Hourihan.