IDA’s submission to Dail committee

Medical card cuts have caused “chaos and confusion”

The Health Service Executive’s (HSE) “attack” on the medical card scheme has caused “chaos, confusion and hardship” to 1.6 million dental patients in Ireland according to the Irish Dental Association (IDA).

The association put forward its strident views in a submission to a Dáil committee looking into the cuts to the medical card system and called on the HSE to reinstate the scheme as soon as possible.

In it’s submission to the joint committee on health and children, the IDA said that the 27 April circular issued by the HSE was delivered “without warning”. They said: “No notice period was provided to patients. No notice period was provided to dentists who hold a contract with the HSE. Since that date no clarity has been provided to the patients, the participating dentists or the HSE’s own staff on the measures outlined in the circular.”

IDA Chief Executive Fintan Hourihan (pictured) said: “The slash and burn approach applied by the HSE to the medical card scheme makes no financial sense as well as being an indictment of our care for the less well off in society.”

He also explained that the association is urging the HSE to withdraw the circular and engage with them to find and review alternative sources of funding. He said: “That is the route map out of the present chaos and we need to act now before lasting damage is done to the dental health of the one-third of the population who are medical card holders.”