Dental access scheme for non-registered patients

Date published: 24 October 2022

Health Minister Robin Swann has welcomed a new initiative to improve access to urgent dental care for non-registered patients, including refugees and asylum seekers.

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The scheme aims to provide improved access to dental care to relieve emergency and urgent dental conditions for up to 1200 patients, including patients not currently registered with a dentist, asylum seekers and refugees, currently living in Northern Ireland. Patients requesting non-urgent or routine care will not be included.

Eleven general dental practices across Northern Ireland are taking part in the scheme, which began in early October and is expected to run for an initial 6-8 weeks. The scheme will be evaluated to gain a better understanding of need and assess the best ways to address the longer term challenges.

The Minister said: “This is a very welcome initiative and I would commend all those involved with it.”

The scheme will operate in addition to normal General Dental Services work, and represents an immediate response to current problems with access to Health Service dental care, particularly for patients experiencing dental pain, requiring urgent dental treatment.

Any activity undertaken by practices involved in the scheme will be in addition to normal work and will not impact on services to their patients.

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