New free municipal dental service for the most vulnerableThe new service aims to cut social inequalities in health and improve access to services which are not offered via the public health system.
ADA COLAU: “One of the greatest priorities is to fight inequalities and for the opportunities generated in Barcelona to be truly equal for all residents, regardless of which neighbourhood they live in or what level of income they have”.
The latest Barcelona health survey shows that 59.2% of the population in the city have not visited the dentist in the last year, as opposed to 40.8% who have. If asked in relation to available family income, the figure for people from groups who are better off comes out at 52%, compared to 28% among the most underprivileged groups.
The new municipal dental service aims to improve access to healthcare services which have a strong impact on social insertion and individual welfare, and which are not available via the public healthcare system.
The dental service is aimed at adults who meet three requisites:
- Attended to by municipal social services and on an active labour insertion plan.
- Income below the threshold of 0.93 of the Catalonia Adequate Income Indicator (IRSC). This amount equates to 529,28 euros a month, with an additional 170 euros to be calculated for each other household member.
- Able to demonstrate a need identified by the public primary healthcare network for treatment not included in the range of public healthcare services offered.
The service includes treatment for tooth decay, root canal therapy, removable dentures, spreaders, curettages and dental hygiene. The dental service is expected to handle 4,000 visits and provide 2,000 treatments a year, as well as 2,300 hygiene treatments.
The facility is housed in the premises of the former PAMEM medical insurance society, now renamed as Barcelona Serveis de Salut. A chiropody service is also offered there and in the future there will also be a sports medicine service for people in vulnerable situations, an information facility for family and professional carers, and one of the four social services centres specialising in dependency support.