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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 27 Mar 1969

Vol. 239 No. 8

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dental Facilities in County Sligo.


asked the Minister for Health if he is aware of the big backlog of people awaiting dental treatment in County Sligo; the reason for this situation; and what action he intends to take in the matter.

The reason for the backlog of persons in County Sligo who are awaiting dental treatment from the health authority is the shortage of dental staff. The health authority has an approved complement of two wholetime dental posts, one of which has been vacant for a considerable time. Notwithstanding the improved conditions of service for public dental officers, approved by me since January, 1968, efforts to fill the vacant post in County Sligo, on a temporary or permanent basis, have not been successful so far. Efforts to fill the post will continue to be made however.


asked the Minister for Health the number of schoolgoing children awaiting orthodontic treatment in County Sligo; the services available at local clinics; if he is aware that this service is in danger of collapse; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I understand that there are at present 30 school children in County Sligo awaiting orthodontic treatment. This specialist type of treatment is normally provided for children from County Sligo at the Dental Hospital, Dublin, rather than at a local clinic.

As there is only a small number of orthodontists in practice in this country, most health authorities, including the Sligo County Council, must rely on the Dublin Dental Hospital to carry out specialist orthodontic work for children referred under the school dental service. I am aware that the overall waiting list for the Dental Hospital is considerable but I understand that the hospital reviews, from time to time, the cases on the waiting list, having regard to the urgency of their need for treatment.