Written Answers. - Ophthalmic Service.

Michael Ring

Question:

278 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo has been refused optical benefit for her daughter. [10928/03]

Sections 66 and 67 of the Health Act 1970 (No. 1 of 1970) provide that health boards shall make ophthalmic treatment and optical appliances available, free of charge, to children attending a national school. Where a defect is identified as a result of an examination carried out in accordance with the legislation, the health boards and the Eastern Regional Health Authority continue to provide treatment and appliances until the child attains the age of 16 years. Responsibility for the provision of ophthalmic services in County Mayo rests with the Western Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executive officer of that board to investigate the matter raised by the Deputy and to reply to him directly.