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News / January 24, 2012

Cuts to dentistry budget are ‘wholly unacceptable’

by Guy Hiscott

Cuts proposed last year to the Northern Ireland dental budget have been branded ‘wholly unacceptable’ by the British Dental Association (BDA).

Claudette Christie, director of the BDA in Northern Ireland, warned that the plan came at a time when the need for NHS care was more pronounced than ever.

She said: The demand for dental care provided by the health service is at an unprecedented level with 1.1 million people in Northern Ireland now registered by the health service with a dentist.

‘This is an increase of 18% over a 12-month period. Patient care is the priority of dentists, with dentists working really hard to meet the oral health needs of such a number of patients.

‘This commitment to patients from their dentists must be matched by the same commitment from Government to the health service and how it delivers dental care.’

In December the Health Minister announced plans to remove up to £6m from the NHS dental budget. The measures include reducing the amount of treatments available and changing the criteria for receiving orthodontic treatment.