Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Liam Aylward

Question:

200 Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 209 of 23 November 1999, the progress, if any, made by the South Eastern Health Board to deal with the number of school children in Kilkenny city and county awaiting assessment for dental and orthodontic treatment. [4989/00]

The provision of dental and orthodontic services in Kilkenny and the maintenance of waiting lists are the statutory responsibility of the South Eastern Health Board.

I have had inquiries made of the South Eastern Health Board. I understand that at the end of January 2000 there were 892 school children in Kilkenny city and county awaiting assessment for dental treatment. A further 178 children in the Carlow-Kilkenny community care area were awaiting assessment for orthodontic treatment. The average waiting time for orthodontic assessment is six months and 23 months for orthodontic treatment. The board has arranged for additional sessions to be held by health board dentists in order to try to reduce the waiting list for treatments for school children in Kilkenny.