Michael McGimpsey, the Minister for Health in Northern Ireland, is aiming to introduce tailor-made dental contracts in the Province.
Mr McGimpsey, speaking during an Assembly debate, confirmed that the contract which was controversially introduced in England and Wales last April would not be extended to Northern Ireland.
He said the new bespoke dental system would be piloted next year. ‘I have asked for a locally developed solution,’ he said. ‘Negotiations to secure a tailor made contract have already started between my Department and the British Dental Association.
‘The contract which will move away from the current way we pay dentists is part of the Miscellaneous Provisions Bill, which was given second reading in this House recently. Subordinate legislation is also needed.’
Mr McGimpsey added: ‘Two million pounds of recurrent funding has been agreed to ensure that local dentists can provide treatment for local people as part of the Health and Social Care system, and not force people into expensive private care plans. ‘I can assure members and the public that all possible steps will be taken to ensure that dental treatment is available under the Health and Social Care system to those entitled to and wishing to avail of it.’