“Future of Rathangan Dental Clinic to be decided on a month-to-month basis” so says Fine Gael local election candidate Mark Stafford. He confirms that he received a number of queries from worried parents and service users in Rathangan and Monasterevin regarding the future of the Dental Clinic in Rathangan which provides free dental care to pre-school and national school going children as well as medical card holders.
“A number of parents were told that the clinic was only taking bookings up until the end of June and they took it that the clinic would close and service users would have to relocate to the clinics in Naas or Newbridge. I immediately contacted the HSE Dental Department in Naas who have confirmed to me that HSE dental service continues to be provided as normal in the clinic. I am instructed that the Dental Service is obliged to make a 25% cut in its travel costs in the Kildare/West Wicklow Area meaning that service to local clinics is being monitored on a month to month basis and that service users were being updated on a regular basis and should circumstances arise that the clinic has to close then dental services to patients will be offered to patients from another HSE dental clinic. The HSE are currently making bookings for the month of July and they will review the situation in another month.”
The Rathangan clinic which operates every Wednesday provides service to people from Rathangan, Monasterevin, Kildangan and further afield. “It would be a shame to lose the clinic in Rathangan particularly now that the Dental clinic in Kildare is closed and all patients would be obliged to travel to either Newbridge or Naas.” There are plans to open a new HSE dental facility in Kildare town when the new building is completed. The Kildare HSE clinic was closed in 2008 for health and safety reasons.
“I was fortunate to benefit from the service in Rathangan myself when I was a child. In addition to the problem of obliging people to travel to Naas or Newbridge, it would mean that the child patients would be losing out on additional school time”. The long term future of the Rathangan Clinic must also be in doubt given the current dilapidated state of the building.