15/12/2005

Dental Service proposals unveiled

Health Minister Shaun Woodward has announced a consultation on proposals for dental services over the next 10 years.

The Primary Care Dental Strategy proposes that dental services should be commissioned at a local level thereby providing the flexibility to determine what services are required and how these services should be provided. This will help ensure dental services are available to all of the population and also address the increasing access problems being identified in some areas across Northern Ireland.

The Minister said: "It is vital that we continue the modernisation of primary care health services so that new services are high quality, effective, and appropriate to local communities. By offering a more flexible and accessible service we will ensure that everyone has ready access to general dental services.

"We need to address the oral health needs of the population as set out in the Oral Health Strategy by providing a greater focus on disease prevention and patient centred services and at the same time make the health service a rewarding career choice for dental professionals."

The consultation will last for three months, after which the Department's proposals will be finalised.

(MB)

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