News & Media

FG leading parents down garden path on free dental care for kids

9 October 2019

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has questioned the Government’s ability to deliver free dental care for children under 6.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Like many measures announced by Fine Gael in yesterday’s Budget, their proposals on providing free dental care for under 6s is scant on detail.

“We know that they aim to have it in place by next September, but with any bit of luck, this disastrous Government will be well gone by then. They are essentially leading parents up a garden path with this false timeline.

“The Government would have been better placed in investing in the HSE Routine Dental Services aimed at children in 2nd, 4th and 6th class which are chronically underfunded.

“Figures I received from the HSE earlier this year show that the current HSE dental services for kids aren’t being delivered adequately - with only one region (Cavan, Donegal and Sligo) delivering to all classes. It is shocking that this scheme is operating on a thread in most of the country.

“The figures show that kids in 4th class, in South Tipperary, most parts of Dublin, Cork, Louth, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and Kerry are not currently offered screening.

“How can we expect this Government to negotiate a scheme with dentists, who have already expressed their concerns about yesterday’s Budget, if they can’t get current schemes that are already in place right?”