Ballymahon parents outraged at HSE's decision to close the town's Dental Service

Longford Leader

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The Parents' Association of St Matthew's National School in Ballymahon have expressed their disappointment at the HSE's intention to close the Dental Service in Ballymahon from October 1.

The HSE's decision will affect over a thousand pupils who are eligible to avail of the town's dental service and, in a letter to the HSE, Co Chairperson of the Association, Susan Lee Nolan, expressed the parents' displeasure.

"We are disappointed and dismayed in the total lack of respect shown to our community by the HSE regarding their decision to close the Dental Service in Ballymahon, that has been a vital service in the town for more than 50 years," she wrote.

"The notification which gave ten days notice of the impending closure of the service is indicative of the overall thinking of the HSE and the lack of consideration of the overall impact on the parents and children of Ballymahon and surrounding areas that use the service.

"In relation to the decision itself, it will cause major disruption to parents and students alike, who will now have to travel the journey to Longford town to avail of this service. Parents will have to find extra time from their already busy days to bring their child to a basic appointment.

"The student will now in turn quite possibly lose a whole day from school to attend. Families who rely on public transport will be at a serious disadvantage trying to get to Longford town as there is only two buses per day.

"Although the decision may seem reasonable in relation to the HSE’s internal workings when the overall effect on the community as a whole is taken into account we feel that it is reasonable to request that this decision be re-evaluated.

"We would hope that the HSE would make themselves available for discussions with the public to factor in the external cause and effect of this decision and whether or not they should proceed with this plan at all."