Cllr Dermot Looney, a Labour Councillor for Tallaght Central, has criticised a circular sent by the HSE to local dentists which withdraws “all but emergency treatment” for those on the medical card. The cut in services, which has been described by the Irish Dental Association as “unsafe, unworkable and unethical,” comes in the wake of other health scandals, both local and national.
“Here in Tallaght, we have had a disastrous few months in local healthcare, including the x-ray debacle and Far East letter outsourcing at Tallaght Hospital, revelations as to the lack of GP cover for areas such as Fettercairn and the ongoing absence of cover in the primary care centre beside Tallaght Library,” said Cllr Looney. “Nationally, Mary Harney and the unaccountable HSE continue to preside over a failing health service, continuing to impose a moratorium on recruitment and expend time and effort on an ideological model of healthcare in which the rich will always get the best treatment.”
“Now, the crisis in our finances caused by the toxic triangle of Fianna Fáil, the banks and developers yet again targets working people, the unemployed, the elderly and the vulnerable. Thousands of local people whose circumstances mean they require a medical card will now be denied a range of routine treatments, including fillings, extractions and dentures, as well as treatment for gum disease,” noted Cllr Looney.
“As a result of this circular, preventative work such as scaling and filling will be abandoned, which means that serious dental problems, rather than being tackled, will simply be stored up for the future. What are these same patients to do if they need dentures at some stage in the future?”
“The Irish people gave their verdict on the PD vision for healthcare by getting rid of the party at the last general election. The people of Tallaght Central gave their verdict on the FF apologists at the last local election by voting for Labour in unprecedented numbers. This latest attack on working people, the elderly and the vulnerable, show that even after the death of the PD’s, this Fianna Fáil government continue to promote a two-tier healthcare system, where the best care is for the rich, and the rest are left to suffer,” concluded Cllr Looney.