Tuesday, 13 February 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
174. Mr. Ardagh asked the Minister for Health and Children when persons (details supplied) in Dublin 12 and 6W will receive orthodontic treatment; and if he will initiate a means tested grant scheme for orthodontic treatment of schoolchildren on a private basis. [3860/01]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): As the provision of orthodontic services to eligible persons in the Dublin area is the statutory responsibility of the Eastern Regional Health Authority, the ERHA, I have asked the chief executive officer of the ERHA to investigate the position in relation to this case and to reply directly to the Deputy as a matter of urgency. As part of the initiative recently announced, the Department approved a proposal from the Eastern Regional Health Authority for a grant-in-aid scheme. Under the scheme, patients who meet the criteria laid down for non-urgent routine treatment will be  given the option of availing of treatment from a private orthodontic practitioner. A grant of 50% of the authority's overall estimated cost of treatment would be paid. Parents could also avail of tax credits on the balance where appropriate. A grant of 100% of the authority's estimated cost of treatment would be paid in respect of medical card holders.
The scheme will operate on a pilot basis in the Northern Area Health Board for 12 months. A working group on the implementation of the scheme within the board is being established. The group has set a target date of 1 April this year for the implementation of the pilot scheme.
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