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Orthodontic waiting lists in the West totally unacceptable - Ó Clochartaigh

26 February, 2015

Galway Senator, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh,  has said that the Government needs to act immediately to reduce the waiting lists for orthodontic treatment in the West.

After challenging Minister Kathleen Lynch in the Seanad on the issue, the Sinn Féin Senator said:

“There are 3,330 children on waiting lists for orthodontic treatment in Galway and Mayo. 1294 have been waiting for between a year and two years and over 450 have been waiting over two years for treatment. That's one child out of every twelve between 10 and 14 in these counties. Or three children in every classroom.

“There has been little progress on this problem in the last two years and the government are failing to address the underlying issues of lack of resources to provide children with vital health services such as this.

“The moratorium on recruitment in the HSE has been one of the major issues in relation to the provision of orthodontic services previously.  There has been a major shortage of both dentists and support staff, including nurses and radiographers which has exacerbated the problems.

“In October 2013, then Minister Alex White promised an independent review of the services after severe criticism from the representative bodies for the dental profession. I understand that review has been finished but not published and I am calling on Minister Lynch to make it available.

“But it is crystal clear that the government has failed the people of Galway and Mayo on this issue and they need to take immediate action to resolve the situation.”

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