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Disabled kids benefit from Kaohsiung free dental care

KASOHSIUNG, Taiwan -- Nearly 2,800 physically andmentally disabled children aged under 12 have benefited from free oral health care services provided by the southern county of Kaohsiung from 2002 to 2007, a local official said yesterday.

According to the official of the Kaohsiung County Health Bureau, the county government has spent over NT$2.7 million (US$86,581) on providing the service to disabled children who cannot take good care of their teeth on their own.

The subsidy program has helped cover dental examination fees for about 1,100 people and treatment charges for about 1,700, the official said.

The service allows children who have a special dental health care “passport” issued by the county government to receive full subsidies from the county government to pay for examinations or treatment items that national health insurance does not cover, including registration fees, charges for special dental fillings, braces and fluoride treatment, the official said.

A total of 67 oral health care institutes around the county have joined the service network and have received training on how to provide dental care to disabled children, who sometimes require more patience and care during treatment procedures, the official said.

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