Page last updated at 19:36 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 20:36 UK

NHS dental work put out to tender

There is a shortfall in the number of NHS dentists in Northern Ireland
There is a shortfall in the number of NHS dentists in Northern Ireland

Private dentists are to be invited to tender for NHS work in Northern Ireland.

The move was announced by Health Minister Michael McGimpsey following an assembly debate on the shortage of NHS dentists.

Mr McGimpsey said the independent sector would be invited to tender for a large scale contract to provide dental services to NHS patients.

The move will mean dentists coming into NI from other parts of the UK.

Mr McGimpsey said the idea had worked elsewhere.

"Everyone in Northern Ireland should be able to access health service dentistry, no matter where they live and regardless of their circumstances, and that is my aim," he said.

The contract will require fresh legislation before it can be set up, but it is hoped a pilot scheme could begin next year.




SEE ALSO
NI dentist shortage warning
26 Aug 04 |  Northern Ireland
NI dentists 'extract Irish patients'
26 Feb 04 |  Northern Ireland
Hundreds queue for NHS dentists
16 Feb 04 |  North Yorkshire

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