Important Notice for Medical Card Patients

 

After over 22 years of providing care to medical card patients our practice has made the difficult decision to resign from the medical card scheme as it is no longer financially viable. We will therefore no longer be accepting new medical card patients. For existing medical card patients, we will of course complete any outstanding treatment plans but will not be able to start any new treatments going forward.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Frequently asked questions

 

We understand you may have questions about these changes, so we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions to help you.

 

Why aren’t you accepting medical card patients?

Dentists are required to be registered to the medical card scheme in order to treat medical card patients. Unfortunately, our practice is no longer accepting new medical card patients. For existing medical card patients, we will of course complete any outstanding treatment plans but will not be able to start any new treatments going forward.

Since we reopened our doors after lockdown there is a need for additional PPE to meet the safety standards required and we have had to introduce extended periods between patient appointments.  Global demand during the pandemic has also increased the cost for PPE significantly.   The HSE is not providing PPE for medical card treatments and unfortunately it is not possible for us to cover the additional cost whilst ensuring the practice remains open to treat patients in the long term.

 

Why can I see you as a private patient and not a medical card patient?

A dentist is required to be registered to the medical card scheme in order to treat medical card patients. Unfortunately, we have made  the difficult decision to resign from the medical card scheme as it is no longer financially viable.  Our practice will therefore no longer be accepting new medical card patients.

Can I pay for the PPE and be seen as a medical card patient?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. The contract we have with the HSE states we can’t charge any additional costs to medical card patients for the treatments covered under the scheme.

Why isn’t the practice  absorbing the cost of PPE?

Since we reopened our doors after lockdown there is a need for additional PPE to meet the safety standards required.  Global demand during the pandemic has also increased the cost for PPE significantly.   The HSE is not providing PPE for medical card treatments and unfortunately it is not possible for us to cover the additional cost whilst ensuring the practice remains open to treat patients in the long term.

What treatments are normally covered under the medical card entitlement?

Normally adults (16+) who have a valid medical card can access a number of dental services and treatments, including:

  • A Dental examination

  • Issue of prescription

  • Fillings (two per calendar year)

  • Extractions as necessary

  • Dentures (with HSE approval)

  • Root canal treatment on front teeth (with HSE approval)

 

Is this decision long term?

We will not be accepting any medical card patients for the foreseeable future.  

Is this just for new medical card patients?

This relates to both new and existing medical card patients. We’re currently only treating existing patients who are in the middle of a course of treatment.

Why am I only being told this now?

Our practice continued to treat medical card patients throughout the pandemic  adhering to best International practice.

Unfortunately, we have made the difficult decision to resign from the medical card scheme as it is no longer financially viable.

Since we reopened our doors after lockdown there is a need for additional PPE to meet the safety standards required.  Global demand during the pandemic has also increased the cost for PPE significantly.   The HSE is not providing PPE for medical card treatments and unfortunately it is not possible for us to cover the additional cost whilst ensuring the practice remains open to treat patients in the long term. We also need to allow extended periods of time between patients as aerosols are generated during the majority of appointments.

What are my treatment options now?

Although we have resigned from the scheme, there is an option for our dental team to continue caring for you as a PRSI or private patient.

For more information on our services and fees, please speak to our reception.

Alternatively, you may wish to look for another dental care provider who accepts medical card patients. You can search www.hse.ie to find your nearest dental care provider registered under the medical card scheme.

I have already booked an appointment as a medical card patient; can I still attend?

As you have already booked your exam, your dentist can carry out the exam and complete any immediate medical card treatment – such as fillings, extractions, and required prescription. 

However, we won’t be able to complete any treatments which require pre-approval from the HSE – such as dentures or root canal treatment. That’s because approval can take up to 6 to 8 weeks, and these treatments take several appointments to complete. As our practice hase a 3-month notice period with the HSE, we can’t guarantee treatment will be completed on time.

I’m awaiting approval from the HSE for dentures or root canal treatment, what happens now?

Our practice won’t be able to complete any treatments which need pre-approval from the HSE and are still pending. Approval can take up to 6 – 8 weeks, and these treatments take several appointments to complete.

Our practice has a 3-month notice period with the HSE, so we can’t guarantee treatment will be completed on time. As a result, we will cancel any pending treatment requests with the local health board. You can reapply for approval with another dental provider registered under the scheme.

You can search www.hse.ie to find your nearest dental care provider registered under the medical card scheme.

I need emergency care and can’t afford to pay private fees, what should I do?

You may wish to find another dental care provider who accepts medical card patients. You can search www.hse.ie to find your nearest dental care provider.

 

Can’t I just pay the PPE cost for my medical card appointments?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. The contract we have with the HSE states we can’t charge any additional costs to medical card patients for the treatments covered under the scheme.

I’m mid-way through treatment, what happens now?

Our practice will complete your treatment. However, once treatment is completed, you won’t be able to continue as a medical card patient. We can, and would like to, continue to care for you, however, you will need to attend as a private patient instead.

Alternatively, you may wish to find another dental care provider who accepts medical card patients. You can search www.hse.ie to find your local dental care provider.

Where do I find my nearest dental medical card provider?

You can search www.hse.ie to find your nearest dental practice that accepts medical card patients.

What happens to my data if I move to a new dentist?

We’ll keep your dental records in accordance with our legal obligations. 

 If you find a new dentist and they ask for your records, you can request to have them transferred by calling or emailing us at receptionoakdental@gmail.com.

If the HSE provides PPE in the future will you begin accepting medical card patients again?

Unfortunately, once a dentist resigns from the medical card scheme, they are not able to reverse this decision automatically. They will need to reapply to join the scheme which would take at least 3 to 6 months and so we would not be able to see any medical card patients in the near future.

Opening Hours

At the moment due to Covid-19 restrictions the practice will be operating visits strictly by appointment only.

A walk in clinic is not available at present.

 

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St Johns Terrace, Ballaghaderreen

County Roscommon

F45 EA03

 

Tel: 09498 60 000

email receptionoakdental@gmail.com

 

 

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