Dáil Éireann - Volume 399 - 06 June, 1990

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Treatment.

34. Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for Health if he will outline (a) the number of people on the waiting list for orthodontic treatment in the Mid-Western Health Board region (b) the average waiting time for treatment of a person who is successful in joining the list and (c) if he will provide extra funds to deal with the problem.

Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): The Mid Western Health Board have a full consultant-staffed orthodontic department and over 1,000 persons are at present receiving orthodontic treatment.

At the moment there are 880 on the [1322] waiting list and the average waiting time for treatment is normally two years.

Additional funds to improve the dental and orthodontic services have been allocated in the current year to all of the health boards. The Mid Western Health Board are using this additional provision to improve routine dental services.

35. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Health if, in cases where holders of medical cards have, due to a shortage of key personnel, to engage the services of private specialists for orthodontic treatment for their children, he will make a special allocation available to health boards to assist such medical card holders financially.

Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): Since November 1989, the Government has made special allocations of £1 million to the health boards to provide additional orthodontic treatment for top priority cases. This amount supplements the moneys already allocated by the health boards for orthodontic services.

The Department is closely monitoring progress being made in the current year to reduce the orthodontic waiting lists and will take further action as necessary.