The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) works with public hospitals, as opposed to with patients directly, to offer and provide the funding for treatment to clinically suitable long waiting patients who are on an inpatient/day case waiting list for surgery, having been referred on to such a list following clinical assessment by a consultant/specialist at an outpatient clinic.
The NTPF advise that they do provide treatment for patients who are awaiting procedures under the category of 'Dental/Maxilla-Facial Surgery'. The NTPF further advise that children can avail of treatment through the NTPF, including for dental procedures. The key criteria of the NTPF is the prioritisation of the longest waiting patients first. While the NTPF identifies patients eligible for NTPF treatment, it is solely on the basis of their time spent on the Inpatient/Daycase Waiting List. The clinical suitability of the patient to avail of NTPF funded treatment is determined by the public hospital.
In relation to whether children referred for orthodontic procedures and on the waiting list can have the procedures carried out under another scheme abroad, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.