Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Questions (39)

Dara Calleary

Question:

39. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health the initiatives in place to improve dental services in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12203/19]

View answer

Oral answers (10 contributions) (Question to Health)

If Deputy Calleary introduces this question briefly, the Minister of State will have time to respond before we move on to Leaders' Questions.

I will let the Minister of State respond.

I do not have the question to hand. I can provide the answers, but not without the questions.

The Minister of State is good, but not that good.

Are we on Deputy McLoughlin's question?

Deputy McLoughlin is not here. The question before the House seeks details of the initiatives in place to improve dental services in County Mayo.

Can the Minister of State answer that one?

I will have to come back to the Deputy on this matter. I do not have the reply to hand.

We have been inundated with representations from constituents, particularly parents of teenagers, who are being made to wait inordinate amounts of time for basic assessments for orthodontic services. Early intervention in this area can prevent a significant amount of physical pain, as well as financial pain down the line. Unfortunately, waiting lists seem to have gone beyond the two-year mark.

We need a specific intervention in the county to reduce those waiting lists. As I stated previously, rather than sticking things into CHO areas, we could instead have a range of professionals who can be moved around to where waiting lists have gone out of sync. We could in that way address waiting lists that are way above the national profile. Instead of continuing to adhere to geographical rules, let us address where there are specific problems. We have a big problem in Mayo with treatment for dental and orthodontic issues, particularly for those aged under 18 years of age.

I will come back to Deputy Calleary on this matter.

Written Answers are published on the Oireachtas website.