Northern Ireland To Improve Access To Dental Services

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Health Minister Michael McGimpsey launched the first dental service in Northern Ireland to be directly employed by a Health Board.

Speaking at a visit to Dalriada Urgent Care in Ballymena, the Minister said: "In recent years access to health service dentistry in Northern Ireland has become a growing problem in certain parts of the country.

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"While I intend that the new dental contract will address the problems we currently face, it is vital that we build up alternative and additional provision to that offered by independent practitioners. This will be needed to cover the existing gaps in health service dental provision, provide career options for the dental profession and offer best value for money.

"I am confident that in time the salaried dental service will grow and provide a valuable and essential element of health service dental provision across Northern Ireland, my warmest congratulations on being the first in the field."

Mr Michael Donaldson, Consultant, Dental Public Health, Northern Health and Social Services Board, said: "The new Salaried Dental Service based at Dalriada Urgent Care (DUC) is the first of its kind to be offered in Northern Ireland. It is designed to provide access to Health Service dentistry for patients who would not otherwise be able to receive it.

"It has been running very successfully since the beginning of the summer and we have plans in the coming months to operate a similar service from two other sites in the Northern Board area."

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