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Newry Council to meet with Dentist’s representatives about ‘unacceptable’ access to services

24 April, 2008

Newry and Mourne Council are to seek a meeting with representatives from the Dentist Association to discuss issues of concerns.

The request was made for an urgent meeting by local Sinn Féin Councillor Anthony Flynn who told the Council's Health Committee that the current situation in respect of local dentist services was totally unacceptable.

Cllr Flynn said:

"People and families from throughout the District are experiencing huge difficulty in getting appointments with dentists.

"At present there are many people throughout the area who cannot locate a dentist in their area, who is able to take them on as an NHS patient.

"The most vulnerable in our communities, those most in need as usual are the first to be effected by this totally unacceptable situation

"The oral health of people in the north has been poor for a number of years, with those living in deprived areas most likely to be affected. It is a well-recognised fact that social deprivation strongly influences the incidence of dental decay.

"Children living in the 20% most deprived wards in the North are almost twice as likely to have experienced dental decay as children from the 20% most affluent wards.

"It is crucial that the Health department targeted resources at those areas of greatest need by encouraging dentists to register and provide care for those patients in greatest need." ENDS

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