One in five dentists are missing work due to 'being stressed' over patient care
One in five dentists have missed work due to the stress of having to prioritise serious cases, says a new HSE report.
The Irish Dental Association says that a recent survey of HSE dental surgeons shows that the Government needs to increase access to secondary care services for patients, in particular to general anaesthetic services.
“Our members are under severe pressure to prioritise the most serious cases,” said Mr Fintan Hourihan, IDA Chief Executive .
“The problem is all of the children on these waiting lists need urgent treatment and all need general anaesthetic.
“Yet dentists are being asked to subdivide them.
“While acute case are prioritised, less acute cases which include young children often requiring four or more extractions, can wait up to a year. This is simply not acceptable,” he added.
Mr Hourihan said that “it was clear morale in the service was on the floor”.
Speaking at IDA’s annual HSE Dental Surgeons Group in country Carlow , he told delegates that 60 pc of HSE dentists were regularly stressed at work over the issue of waiting lists.
“The fact that it is the lack of services for patients which is the highest stressor is telling.
“Our members are under severe pressure to prioritise the most serious cases. This is simply not sustainable.”
Mr Hourihan called on Minister Health Leo Vardakar to enter discussion with the IDA in order to put in place a comprehensive oral health care programme for children under six.
“With children early intervention is key. Investment in oral health promotion is cost effective.
“We have a limited budget, so we have to decide where it is best used and the younger age group is where we will have ultimately the best outcome in the long run,” Mr Hourihan concluded.