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News / July 25, 2014

HSE forced to remove online pay data to dentists

by Guy Hiscott

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has been forced to remove website details of state payments to primary care health professionals.

Details of state payments made public represented a ‘breach of privacy’, according to the Irish Dental Association (IDA).

Nicola Coogan, senior compliance officer with the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), warned the HSE that serious action would be taken if the primary care reimbursement service (PCRS) payments for dentists were not removed.

The HSE has now removed details of payments to dentists as well as to GPs, pharmacists and ophthalmologists. Payment details between the years 2009-2011 have also been deleted.

The HSE has also ceased publication of future PCRS payments.

The IDA was concerned over the legitimacy of the HSE’s reasons for PCRS payments to dental professionals on its website.

Patrick Burke of the HSE’s PCRS service stated: ‘We are publishing this information in the interests of transparency so that the taxpayer is aware of the expenditure of public funds to dental practices.’

But in a letter to the HSE, chief executive of the IDA Fintan Hourihan argued that the publications were made without the consent of the dentists concerned.

The IDA has welcomed the decision to cease publication of the payments.