QUESTION NO: 227
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister of State at the Department of Health (Kathleen Lynch)
by Deputy Bernard J. Durkan
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 09/07/2015
* To ask the Minister for Health the number of orthodontists currently operating in the public health system; the number of children receiving treatment; the number pending; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Bernard J. Durkan T.D.
The most recent figures for the number of orthodontists employed by the HSE are for 31st December 2014. The number of Consultant Orthodontists employed was 11.75 WTE and the figure for Specialist Orthodontists was 39.22 WTE. It should be noted that other oral health professionals, such as dentists, assist orthodontists in treating patients. The HSE has established a pilot scheme in Dublin North East involving the use of orthodontic therapists in the treatment of a number of eligible children. Consideration will be given to expanding this Scheme to other HSE areas in the future. In addition to the services provided by HSE staff, orthodontic treatment for certain categories of misalignment will be provided by a panel of independent practitioners under contract to the HSE over the next three years. A national procurement process is being finalised. This initiative will especially focus on those waiting for 4 years or longer. It is expected that this initiative will commence later this year and will have a positive impact on waiting times.
The orthodontic waiting list figures for Q1 of 2015 are as follows: