Written Answers. - Dental Service.

Tuesday, 11 February 1997

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 474 No. 6

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  127.  Dr. Moffatt  Information on Tom Moffatt  Zoom on Tom Moffatt   asked the Minister for Health  Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan   in view of the current delay in routine and emergency dental treatment by the Western Health Board in County Mayo if he will review the causes of the poor service available and put in place an acceptable service for the people of County Mayo. [3822/97]

Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan,: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  Limerick East): The provision of dental treatment to eligible persons in County Mayo is the statutory responsibility of the Western Health Board.

I am advised by the Western Health Board that persons in the over 65 category are seen almost immediately for routine and emergency treatment under the dental treatment services scheme. There is a waiting period of approximately three months for persons awaiting routine treatment in the 16-34 years age group and four months in respect of persons in the 34 to 64 age category awaiting full denture treatment.

I understand from the board that the number of private dentists participating in the scheme has been low in the Mayo area. However, as a result of a recent recruitment drive by the board the situation has improved.

The board also has a recruitment problem in recruiting health board dentists for the Mayo community care area. Despite the best efforts of the board through advertising and using every available means open to the board, it has not been possible for the board to fill a number of posts. A number of dentists in the Mayo community care area currently availing of maternity leave makes the position more difficult for the board.

[1182] The board has recently advertised in the Swedish Dental Journal and as a result has received curriculum vitaes from a number of dentists. These are being processed at the present time. The board hopes that some appointments can be made as a result of this interest.

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