Concerns on Children’s Dental Care
There are serious concerns about the overall availability of dental care within the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA). While acknowledging the commendable initiative outlined in a recent GHA press release regarding specialist dental care provided to 19 individuals with specific needs, it is important to expand this service to a routine, comprehensive, and equitable level for all individuals in need, without neglecting the broader dental care needs of the majority. The wider provision of routine dental care, especially for children, has been inadequate and this issue must be urgently addressed.
GSD Executive Member Atrish Sanchez said: “The majority of children do not have access to regular appointments or dental care unless it is an emergency situation. Waiting times have reached concerning levels, resulting in delayed initial assessments or even no appointments being scheduled at all. Many children only enter the dental system as emergency cases because issues go unnoticed until late due to a lack of contact, follow-up, and clarity of service.
The GHA’s dental care service for children lacks clear communication to parents regarding routine appointments and future check-ups. This uncertainty leaves parents unaware of when the next dental appointment will take place, if any are scheduled at all, and can lead to gaps in dental care for children.
The absence of non-emergency dental services has been a widespread concern expressed by numerous individuals. The lack of comprehensive dental care for children within the GHA system has become a shared frustration among many.”
The GSD urges the government to promptly address these concerns, provide transparency on the state of dental care services, and take necessary actions to ensure comprehensive and accessible dental care for all residents, particularly children.