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News / October 6, 2009

Fair Deal fails to cover dental services

by Guy Hiscott

Dental services have been omitted from the new Nursing Homes Support Scheme, A Fair Deal.

Yesterday Minister Harney announced that the Fair Deal will start on 27 October 2009. She said: ‘People will be free to apply to the HSE for financial support towards nursing home costs under the rules of the new scheme.‘

Every person with need for residential care who applies for financial support will make a personal contribution to cost, strictly in accordance with their means. A person’s contribution will be limited to 80% of their disposable income. However, it is feared is that residents may have to pay the remaining 20% of their income towards the cost of services not covered under the scheme, such as dental treatment.

Speaking to the Irish Times, Eamon Timmins, head of advocacy and communications at Age Action, questioned the ability of those qualifying for the scheme to pay.

He said: ‘It won’t be a ‘Fair Deal’ for those on low incomes. Twenty per cent of what? If you’re drawing the State pension of €230.30 you’ll be saving a long time.’

Minister Harney pointed out that the Fair Deal was only one component in the overall Government commitment to the development of policy on services for older people in line with the principles set out and agreed under Towards 2016.

For more information see or call the HSE Infoline on 1850 24 1850. Applications forms are available from