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News / December 8, 2010

Cap on DTSS to stay in place

by Guy Hiscott

The budgetary limit on the Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) introduced this year will be maintained for 2011, announced minister for finance Brian Lenihan yesterday [7 December].

Savings on demand led schemes, including the DTSS, are expected to yield €380m next year.

Following the budgetary disclosure, Fintan Hourihan, chief executive of the Irish Dental Association, stated: ‘The Medical Card scheme wasn’t perfect but it provided a basic dental care framework for the poorer members of society.

‘Now we have the frankly disgraceful situation where what is a limited emergency treatment service is now being stretched beyond breaking point.

‘Such funding cannot provide any semblance of a dental service for 1.6 million medical card holders next year, with the result that hundreds of thousands of people will be denied a range of routine treatments, including fillings and extractions as well as dentures and treatment of gum disease.’

The overall health budget for next year will be €14.1 billion, a reduction of more than €700 million on 2010.

Lenihan Budget 2011

Minister for finance, Brian Lenihan, at the finance press conference in Government Buildings on the evening of 7 December 2010

Discussing the impact on the health sector of Budget 2011, health minister Mary Harney stated: ‘The health service must, of necessity, contribute to the expenditure reductions required next year.

‘My objective has been to ensure that these reductions are achieved in a way that minimise the impact on services to patients and continue to protect, as far as possible, the most vulnerable. To do this we need to reduce costs and improve productivity.’

You can view the budget speech and a range of other budget related documents on the website