IDA sets out its demands ahead of Budget 2017

Expansion of the Med 2 Scheme, reinstating preventive and restorative care to the PRSI dental scheme, and diverting sugar tax income to oral health are just some of the recommendations made by the Irish Dental Association (IDA) in its pre-Budget 20ı7 submission.

Released at the end of July, the association’s 2ı-page document contains four main focuses: improving access for adults to dental care, dental services for children and patients with special needs, prevention and health promotion to tap the huge potential dentists offer, and addressing the business costs of dentistry.

The IDA is calling for the Med 2 Scheme to be reformed and expanded to include essential preventive treatments. The document states: “A start needs to be made in redressing the damage done by previous cuts in state support towards accessing dental care (cuts we contend which were unprecedented in magnitude and impact).

“The Med 2 Scheme provides real value to groups of the populace who have no or limited access to medical card or PRSI dental benefits.” The publication also calls for the reinstatement of preventive and restorative care under the Dental Treatment Benefit Scheme for PRSI payers and additional funding for the replacement of the Dental Treatment Services Scheme for medical card holders.

It says: “On a purely financial basis, the cuts to the schemes do not make sense. Dental disease does not get better or go away without treatment. Every cost of delayed treatment will cost the state more in the long term. In the context of dental health, ‘prevention is cheaper than cure’. Every case of delayed treatment will require more expensive treatment in future years.

“Independent analysis has shown that that abolition of the PRSI Dental Scheme would result in a real cost to the state of twice the amount of its cost.

“We have no doubt that the same findings would result from an analysis of the cuts to the DTSS. Emergency dental treatment costs more; untreated dental difficulties lead to more complications that might require more specialised care or even hospitalisation.”

To read the pre-Budget submission  in  full, visit www.dentist.ie