Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ceisteanna (57)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

57. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health the initiatives being taken to improve dental and orthodontic services in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5402/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Dental treatment for medical card holders is provided under the Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS). Services available annually include an examination, two fillings and emergency extractions. More complex care and a broader range of treatments for patients with special needs and high risk patients is also provided, some of which requires prior approval.

Preventive care, screening and necessary interventions for permanent teeth including fillings and extractions as well as referral for orthodontics and other secondary care, where appropriate, are provided for school children mainly in 2nd , 4th and 6th class. Emergency treatment is provided to children up to 16 years of age. Services are also provided for people with special needs and other vulnerable groups.

The provision of services by the HSE Public Dental Service for school children in Mayo is prioritised based on age cohorts. Children in 6th class are the first priority, followed by 2nd and 4th class. The services for some schools are outsourced to private dentists if a HSE service is not available.

The HSE provides orthodontic treatment to children who have the greatest level of need once assessed and referred for treatment before their 16th birthday. The HSE aims to commence treatment for the majority within two years of assessment with priority accorded to cases of greatest clinical need.

The HSE is up to date with 6th class assessments for orthodontics in Mayo. Initiatives planned or in place to improve orthodontic services include:

A designated orthodontic clinic in the new primary care centre in Claremorris since February 2018 providing a 2-day-per-week service.

A new orthodontic consultant and an orthodontic therapist will provide 2 extra clinical days service per week in Claremorris from June 2019.

Services are also provided in Castlebar on 2 days per week and patients from Mayo avail of services in Tuam and Merlin Park, Galway.