Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (498)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

498. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health to set out the number of persons currently awaiting orthodontic treatment with the Health Service Executive in south Tipperary; the waiting times for these persons to receive treatment; if he will provide a breakdown of the funding allocated for orthodontic treatment; the number of patients per orthodontist in south Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14718/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE provides orthodontic treatment to patients based on their level of clinical need. An individual's access to orthodontic treatment is determined against a set of clinical guidelines and priority is given to patients with greatest needs. The HSE provides orthodontic treatment to those who have been assessed and referred for treatment before their 16th birthday. It should be noted that the nature of orthodontic care means that immediate treatment is not always desirable. It is estimated that in up to 5% of cases it is necessary to wait for further growth to take place before treatment commences.

Information on waiting times is collated by the HSE by region and for the intervals as shown in the following table. South Tipperary is part of the HSE South region. The most recent information relates to the last quarter of 2013.

Waiting time from assessment to commencement of treatment

1 - 6 months

7 - 12 months

13 - 24 months

2 - 3 years

Over 4 years

TOTAL

HSE South

620

516

829

1,056

373

3,394

The HSE has been asked to examine the specific queries raised by the Deputy concerning South Tipperary and to reply to him as soon as possible.