Wednesday, 9 May 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
163. Mrs. B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Health and Children the plans he has for the provision of a new orthodontic unit for County Kerry to facilitate the waiting list for the service in the county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13114/01]
Following recommendations in the Moran Report – Review of Orthodontic Services – structural changes are being introduced into the orthodontic services. These structural changes include the creation of the grade of specialist in orthodontics, the development of specialist training programmes and the creation of a grade of auxiliary dental worker to work in the orthodontic area. However, it will be some time before these structural changes impact significantly on service levels. Consequently, I asked health boards to develop proposals to make an immediate significant impact on their waiting lists. Additional funding of £5.3 million has been provided for orthodontic services this year, of which £3.7 million is to fund an initiative on orthodontic waiting lists. This will enable health boards to recruit additional staff and engage the services of private practitioners to treat patients.
The Southern Health Board's proposals include the recruitment of two additional consultant orthodontists – one for the proposed Kerry orthodontic unit and one for the new north Cork orthodontic unit – the commissioning of four additional orthodontic chairs in the orthodontic unit in St. Finbarr's Hospital, the development of new orthodontic units in Tralee and north Cork and the validation of waiting lists. I am informed by the chief executive officer of the Southern  Health Board that the board is currently considering a number of options in Tralee for the location of the regional orthodontic unit while seeking to recruit the consultant orthodontist for the unit.
165. Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for Health and Children when orthodontic treatment will commence for a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13116/01]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): As the provision of orthodontic services to eligible persons in Dublin 9 is the statutory responsibility of the Eastern Regional Health Authority, I have asked the chief executive officer of that authority to investigate the position in relation to this case and to reply directly to the Deputy as a matter of urgency.
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