14 December 2017
By Bryan Smyth
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Michael Moynihan has said that it is unacceptable to have 1727 children in Cork waiting for some form of orthodontic treatment.
Deputy Moynihan was commenting after receiving confirmation from the HSE on the number of children waiting to commence treatment at either Grade IV or Grade V level.
“We now have the shocking situation of 897 of these children, or 51%, waiting longer than 12 months for treatment.
“We have seen a lot of trumpeting from Fine Gael TDs about the reintroduction of certain free dental procedures under the PRSI scheme, however, for these children and their families, it’s too little too late.
“These children have been assessed by HSE orthodontic professionals as having dental issues at Grade IV or V. This means that a skilled professional has recommended that they require treatment.
“Of the 1,727 children in the region waiting, 827 of them have been assessed as being Grade V. Patients with Grade V status are in some cases those children requiring treatment due to having cleft lips and damaged palates.
“How is it acceptable to have them waiting so long for such necessary treatment?
“Delays of this magnitude should not be tolerated by the HSE. These children cannot and should not be left waiting. Early treatment delivers better dental health outcomes.
“Minister Harris must make better use of an enhanced National Treatment Purchase Fund to secure treatment for these children, either via private dental providers in Ireland, or potentially in Northern Ireland,” concluded Moynihan.