Dentist paid €577,000 by State
NINE dentists earned more than €300,000 each for treating medical card holders last year, new figures reveal.
The State payouts to 895 dentists exceeded €79m in total -- despite claims by dentists in recent years that the scheme did not pay enough.
Another 59 dentists were paid more than €200,000, according to Health Service Executive figures.
The payments list shows that hundreds more earned over €100,000, although the lowest payments were less than €1,200.
Mayo dentist Dr Shane Cadden earned €577,051 while in the south east, Tipperary dentist Dr Jerome Kiely earned €406,859. In Co Donegal, dentist Dr Terence G Fox was paid €384,344.
Dentists are free to top up their income with private fees, which were recently said to be 30pc higher than in Northern Ireland.
The profession has been criticised for high prices, which have led to people going to the North or eastern Europe for treatment.
Around 600 dentists left the medical card scheme in recent years because they were dissatisfied with the fees offered, and some patients have to travel long distances to see a dentist.