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News / March 4, 2010

Doors open on three new dental practices

by Guy Hiscott

People throughout Tyrone will now have greater access to Health Service dentistry as three new practices open their doors.

The practices in Dungannon, Strabane and Omagh are being delivered as part of a £17 million health service dentistry contract that Health Minister Michael McGimpsey awarded to Oasis Dental Care.

Welcoming the new practices, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said: ‘Everyone should be able to access health service dentistry no matter where they live or their circumstances. This has clearly not been the case for some patients and to me that is unacceptable. That is why I took the step of introducing a new health service dental contract with Oasis Dental Care.

‘New practices in Enniskillen and Derry are now bringing health service dental care to many people in those locations, and I am sure these three new practices will also greatly improve access to thousands of patients throughout Tyrone. This investment is a further sign of how the Health Service is delivering for everyone in Northern Ireland.’

The Minister continued: ‘As the access problem was particularly evident in the west, this is where we have initially focused our attention. Good progress is also being made at other locations throughout Northern Ireland and I hope to see more practices opening soon.’

Judi McGaffin, a dentist and senior manager with the Health and Social Care Board in Derry, who has helped to introduce the new initiative, said it represents very good news for people in the west of Northern Ireland.

She said: ‘These new surgeries have been very much needed and mean that people will now find it much easier to arrange treatment from a Health Service dentist. We have been able to work very successfully with Oasis Dental Care to establish a local service of the highest clinical quality.’

The company will provide 38 additional health service dentists in access hotspots across Northern Ireland, providing access for an additional 57,000 patients.