Dr Mark O'Donnell B.D.S

Dr Mark O'Donnell
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News - August 2014

HSE forced to remove pay data from website
HSE pay dataThe HSE has been forced to remove from its website details of state payments to thousands of dentists.
This follows the Data Protection Commissioner threatening enforcement action against the HSE unless payment details covering billions of euro to individual dentists through the medical card system were removed from the website.
Nicola Coogan, a senior compliance officer with the commissioner, told the HSE it was a serious issue and that it was the intention of the office to take whatever enforcement steps it deemed necessary if the PCRS payments for dentists were not removed.
In response, the HSE has not only removed details of payments to dentists, but to other health professionals contracted to the HSE, including GPs, pharmacists, and ophthalmologists.
The threatened action by the Data Protection Commissioner followed a complaint from the chief executive of the Irish Dental Association Fintan Hourihan, who argued that there was no statutory basis or public interest justification for the publication of the payments.
In a letter released through the Freedom of Information Act, Mr Hourihan wrote to the HSE that his members “are concerned that they have not given consent” to the publication.
A HSE spokeswoman confirmed that it no longer publishes payments to primary care contractors on its website. She said: “The HSE will continue to meets its obligation under the Freedom of Information Acts.”
Mr Hourihan said the Irish Dental Union welcomed the HSE decision to cease publication of the payments.
He said the publication of payments “presented a misleading impression when viewed in isolation and suggested dentists were earning inflated levels of income when in fact the payments were to cover the cost for treatments already dispensed”.
He said: “The HSE also failed to consider whether the publication on a single freely consultable website updated by name relating to all of the beneficiaries concerned went beyond what is necessary for achieving the HSE’s legitimate aims.”
Via The Irish Examiner

Rotten teeth put 26,000 children in hospital in the UK
Rotten teeth children UKThe number one reason for primary school-aged children being admitted to hospital in the UK is to have multiple teeth taken out, newly released figures show.
The number of children aged from five to nine needing hospital treatment for dental problems rose by more than 3,000 in England, according to figures analysed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
The research,  published in the Sunday Times, has been described as "shocking" by a dentistry professor and a consultant in paediatric dentistry said it "beggars belief".
Provisional figures for the the period 2013-14 show that 25,812 children from that age group have been admitted to hospital to have multiple tooth extractions, up from 22,574 three years previously.
Via ITV.com/news

1 in 4 has five or more fillings
1 in 4 has five or more fillingsAt least one in four Irish people has five fillings or more and one in 10 has not been to a dentist in over five years, a new survey has found.
According to the findings, 55% of people have at least one cavity or filling and 29% have five filling or more. Furthermore one-fifth of people only brush their teeth once a day, which is not enough to deal with plaque - the thin layer of bacteria over the teeth which can lead to a multitude or problems, including cavities, toothaches and bad breath.
Just one gram of plaque contains over a billion bacteria.
The survey, which involved 500 members of the public, noted that just 14% of people cite plaque as their main oral health concern. Meanwhile 23% of people never floss their teeth, and 22% only floss if there is something stuck in their teeth.
The findings also show that the vast majority of Irish people do not use an electric toothbrush even though these have been found to be more effective at removing plaque.
The survey, which was conducted by Oral-B, also noted that almost nine in 10 Irish people believe their teeth could look better.
Via IrishHealth.com