Offaly Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen has described the HSE decision to transfer all services at Ferbane Dental Clinic to either Birr or Tullamore as “very regressive” and has called for the decision to be reversed.
Deputy Cowen has been informed that the HSE has reviewed all elements of the services and “it is no longer feasible to staff the clinic in Ferbane.”
Deputy Cowen said: “This is completely unacceptable and appears to be effective immediately. There are over 740 students under 16 who could avail of the services of the dental clinic across the Ferbane catchment area. This is regressive decision must be immediately reversed by the HSE.
“Fianna Fáil has warned that the direct failure of Minister Reilly to manage the health budget would result in the withdrawal of frontline care. There is no reason whatsoever why young children and teenagers should be adversely affected by mismanagement for the health service by Fine Gael and Labour.
“The withdrawal of services at Ferbane Dental Clinic will only increase pressure on families to travel to and from Birr and Tullamore. It shows a total disregard for services in rural communities and is yet another example of local services being lost under this government.”
Schools in the following eight areas are affected by this decision: Clonmacnoise; High Street; Lumcloon; Rashina; Cloghan; Kilcormack; Boher; Ferbane.
Deputy Cowen added: “I am extremely disappointed at how this decision is being communicated. I understand schools have been informed by the HSE and asked to inform parents of the change. This is not good enough and the HSE must reverse this decision.”