Have you been looking after your teeth? With the economy recovering dental and optical benefit schemes will be re-introduced and expanded later this year, seven years after they were cut.
Sligo Leitrim Fine Gael Deputy Tony McLoughlin raised the issue in the Dáil this week in view of the concerns of dental care professionals regarding the levels of oral health.
Minister for Social Protection Leo Vardakar informed him that "access to the dental and optical benefit schemes will be extended to the self-employed from March and that certain treatments will be re-introduced to the Dental and Optical schemes later this year.
"The dental scheme will have an annual scale and polish treatment and protracted periodontal treatment, where this is clinically required, re-introduced from October 2017. These treatments will be made available in addition to the current annual dental examination to all qualified persons, employed and self-employed. The re-introduction of these treatments addresses the concerns of dental care professionals and will make an important contribution to improving the oral health of the adult population."
Speaking about the issue, McLoughlin stated “this particular problem has been raised with me on a regular basis in my constituency office over the last number of years. Workers simply want to be able to feel like that they are getting a return on their PRSI contributions, as they had in the past.
McLoughlin said he is pleased with the Minister's response and concluded “the fact that we can begin to re-introduce these types of services to workers in this country, both employed and self-employed is further evidence that our country continues to recover strongly under a Fine Gael led Government and I look forward to more services being delivered to the people of Ireland”.