Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (602)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

602. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which orthodontic services continue to be made available to children and teenagers with particular reference to follow-up on school medical examinations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15425/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Public Dental Service of the HSE provides dental services for children up to 16 years of age and persons with special needs through its dental clinics. All HSE dental clinics prioritise emergency care for children up to 16 years of age, treatment for special needs patients and screening of children aged from 11 to 13 years, including referral for orthodontic services where necessary. An independent national review of orthodontic services, commissioned by the HSE, has recently been completed. The key issue highlighted by the review is that the Orthodontic Service should be fully integrated within the Primary Care Service. This is under consideration by the HSE to be implemented as part of the HSE's Transformation Programme. Pilot schemes, which will involve the use of orthodontic therapists, are currently being introduced. It is expected that these changes will have a positive impact on waiting times.