Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Denis Naughten

Question:

579 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of people currently on orthodontic waiting lists in each health board area; the average waiting time for assessment and initial treatment in each board area; the plans, if any, he has to reduce these waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19991/00]

The provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons is the statutory responsibility of the health boards. Waiting lists for orthodontic treatment are maintained by the health boards. The most recent information made available to my Department is for the quarter ended 30 June 2000 and is as follows:

Health Board

Waiting Time for Assessment

Waiting Time for Treatment

Assessment Waiting List

Treatment Waiting List

Eastern Regional Health Authority

1-5 years

1 year

10,202

987

Midland Health Board

3 months

1.5 years

20

247

Mid-Western Health Board

2-2.5 years

2-2.5 years

2,671

1,608

North Eastern Health Board

n/a

2-2.5 years

n/a

836

North Western Health Board

4 months

2.4-3 years

380

2,167

South Eastern Health Board

3 months

20 months

314

560

Southern Health Board

patients born in 1986 are currently being given appointments for assessment.

3-3.5 years

5,000 (app)

4,528

Western Health Board

3-3.5 years

769

2,233

Health board orthodontic services continue to be developed in accordance with the dental health action plan. This year I have provided an additional £1.45 million to health boards on an ongoing basis to further the development of their orthodontic services. At my request, the health boards have submitted proposals to me on how waiting lists and times for orthodontic treatment could be reduced in their areas. In response I have recently approved a number of measures for the Eastern Regional Health Authority to improve their service and I hope to clarify the matter with the remaining health boards in the near future.
Question No. 580 with Question No. 568.