UCC drops plans to move dental school and hospital

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University College Cork (UCC) has dropped plans for Cork University Dental School and Hospital to move to a bigger site, despite its dean warning that the current building is “untenable” without significant investment.

The change in plans for the school, one of only two in Ireland, comes amid a national crisis in dentist numbers. One in six patients are already waiting over three months for routine appointments, the Irish Dental Association recently warned.

The school, which treats almost 11,000 patients and trains around 50 Irish and international students annually, shares a campus with Cork University Hospital (CUH). In 2019, UCC was granted planning permission for a five-storey building in Curraheen. The school was designed and the project went to tender but, because of rising building costs and the pandemic, it was shelved.

“I almost feel it is untenable to stay here,” Professor Brady said of the CUH site. “We have a frail, old building. It’s got a leaking roof, and other issues as would be expected of a building that age,” he said. Equipment also needs upgrading or replacing, he added.

The Higher Education Authority has recommended investment to boost training places nationally for dentistry, medicine and veterinary courses. Options for achieving this are being examined through the departments of health, agriculture and higher and further education.

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Published: 11 March, 2024 at 06:10