Cuts to Health Service in Northern Ireland
Savings plans now on hold
We have cautiously welcomed news that the five Health and Social Care Trusts consultations major recommendations on savings plans for 2017/18, are now on hold.
In the absence of a Minister of Health in Northern Ireland, all five Trusts were asked to address the £70 million funding shortfall for 2017/8.
Each Trust published proposal recommendations to go forward to approval at the Department of Health and we asked dentists to feed into our responses.
What we did
We condemned any proposed cuts, highlighting the fact that the budget for the General and Primary Dental Service in Northern Ireland has fallen in real terms, year on year, since 2012, whilst tooth decay remains the leading cause of hospital admissions among children.
We sought your views on the impact of these cuts and our committees discussed the issue, and points were fed into the BDA's official response to the DH.
Many of the proposals were aimed at hospital care and domiciliary care and would herefore impact on the hospital dental service and the community dental service.
But we had concerns that there might also be the potential for impacts on the general dental service, in terms of increased referrals and longer waiting times.
The Department of Health has now injected an additional £40 million into the Health Service and the five Trusts have now chosen to stand down their major recommendations for the time being, although savings are still expected to be required.
We are currently seeking clarification on whether the Trusts calculations will take into account the 2017 one per cent pay lift for dentists.
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