Dáil Éireann - Volume 591 - 02 November, 2004

Written Answers. - National Treatment Purchase Fund.

  239. Dr. Fitzpatrick asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the number of patients on the orthodontic waiting list that have been treated under the national treatment purchase fund from health authorities (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27134/04]

  Ms Harney:In June 2002, my Department provided additional funding of €5 million from the national treatment purchase fund towards the treatment of persons on the orthodontic waiting lists. My Department instructed the health boards and authority that the funding was to be allocated on the basis of several principles. These are the treatment of clients longest on the waiting list in accordance with the severity of their treatment [875] need, allocation to provide additional treatments over and above what was provided in the normal way, efficiency and value for money, and equitable delivery across health board populations.

The chief executive officers of the health boards and authority have informed my Department of the following information regarding patients receiving treatment under the national treatment purchase fund as at the end of September 2004:

Health board/authority

TPF allocation € (1)

Numbers in treatment

ERHA (2)

1.815m

721

MHB

0.289m

198

MWHB (3)

0.451m

179

NEHB (4)

0.421m

196

NWHB

0.285m

119

SEHB (5)

0.554m

n/a

SHB (6)

0.720m

258

WHB (7)

0.465m

132

(6) 49 of these patients have completed their treatment under this scheme.

(5) 2,252 children getting orthodontic treatment from the board at 30 September 2004.

(4) 31 of these patients have completed their treatment under this scheme.

(3) 15 of these patients have completed their treatment under this scheme.

(2) 60 of these patients have completed their treatment under this scheme.

(1) The proportion of allocated funds spent to date will vary according to private capacity in the health board areas.

(7) 13 of these patients have completed their treatment under this scheme.

Patients in treatment in the health board orthodontic service receive between 18 to 24 appointments over the course of their treatment period of approximately two years.

The chief executive officers of the health boards and the Eastern Regional Health Authority have informed me that at the end of the September 2004 quarter, there were 22,168 patients receiving orthodontic treatment in the public orthodontic service. This means there are more than twice as many patients getting orthodontic treatment as there are waiting to be treated.