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News / August 2, 2010

PRSI cuts equate to a

by Guy Hiscott

The Irish Independent has reported that close to two million people covered by PRSI have lost out on dental treatment worth over €12m so far this year as a result of the budget cuts.

Figures obtained by the national newspaper reveal the State spend on the dental benefit scheme fell to €17.8m in the first six months of the year.

The figures reveal that if people covered by PRSI had availed of the same treatments in the first half of 2010 as they did last year, they would have had to pay €12m out of their own pockets.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Social Protection, which administers the PRSI dental scheme, focused on the fact that people are still entitled to a free dental examination.

She said: ‘The continued provision of the free examination not only helps to identify routine dental problems but also more serious health issues.

‘Its continuation should encourage people to continue attending check-ups, and help to address the concerns expressed about the general dental health of the public. In 2009, the department provided some 418,000 free dental examinations.

‘Current trends in 2010 indicate that a similar number will attend for the free examination this year.’