Dáil Éireann - Volume 390 - 16 May, 1989

Written Answers. - Recruitment of Orthodontists.

120. Mr. Cosgrave asked the Minister for Health, in view of a waiting list of 4,000 for orthodontic treatment in the Eastern Health Board area, if he will make immediate arrangements to recruit additional orthodontists with a view to [102] eliminating this long waiting list; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

121. Mr. Cosgrave asked the Minister for Health, in view of the long waiting list and the complex treatment which is required by persons (details supplied) in Dublin 13, if he will make an early appointment available to have orthodontic work carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): I propose to take Questions Nos. 120 and 121 together.

For a number of years the Eastern Health Board has been endeavouring to fill a post of consultant orthodontist but has met with no success. In view of this over the past two years the board has made arrangements with the Dublin Dental Hospital whereby the hospital provides a certain amount of orthodontic treatment on behalf of the health board. Under these arrangements the health board is funding a post of registrar in the orthodontic department of the Dublin Dental Hospital and the hospital is assisting in the training of a number of health board dentists in advanced orthodontic techniques. This has led to a considerable improvement in the availability of orthodontic treatment for eligible persons in the Eastern Health Board.

I recently agreed, at the request of the chief executive officer of the Eastern Health Board, to the secondment of the deputy chief dental officer of my Department to the health board for a short time to review the board's arrangements for the delivery of dental services, including the orthodontic service, and, where necessary, to make recommendations for their improvement. The deputy chief dental officer's final report is expected to be available shortly.

In regard to the specific orthodontic case mentioned by the Deputy the person in question was put on the health board's orthodontic waiting list in October 1988. Due to the large number of persons still on the waiting list the health board are [103] not in a position to say when he will be called for assessment and treatment.