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Free braces for children could be cut

Posted by Joanne Mellor

Parents of children who need to have braces on their teeth to straighten them may be asked to pay for the treatment under plans being considered by the Department of Health.

A grading system is being proposed that could see some parents told they have to meet costs of as much as £2,000 if the work is not deemed to be important enough to carry it out for free.

Stephen McKenna, who runs an orthodontic clinic on Belfast’s Ormeau Road, told BBC News the plans are unfair.

“The criteria for selection of NHS orthodontic cases in Northern Ireland is likely to be made more stringent,” he said.

Mr McKenna pointed out a child in Birmingham may get their braces fitted for free, while one in Northern Ireland would be expected to pay hundreds of pounds.

Earlier this month, research by Isle of Wight Link found less than half of people realises children and young people are able to get their teeth treated for no charge, reported the Isle of Wight County Press.

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