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Review into damage to children’s teeth by HSE must be published – O’Reilly

2 April, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Speaking this morning, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that Minister for Health Simon Harris must ensure that the review into damage to children’s teeth by HSE orthodontic services must be published as an official audit prepares to review more than 7,500 children’s dental work.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The news this morning that an audit is preparing to look at the medical files of more than 7,500 children should come as a wake up call to those in the HSE and the Department of Health regarding the manner in which complaints were dealt with regarding the performance of the HSE orthodontic service in the greater Dublin area in the late 90s.

“This matter also shines a light on the need for the Minister for Health to ensure that oral health forms a central part of the health service and is not looked at as ‘other’ or a side part of the health service.

“Complaints were made to through official channels regarding alleged damage that was being done to children’s teeth by HSE orthodontic services by a whistleblower, but it has taken almost two decades for an investigation to take place.

“However, the audit which took place to look into these allegations has still not published its report despite that review finishing in 2015.

“Now, as the medical files of more than 7,500 children are to be reviewed in an official audit as a result of the allegations that children’s teeth were damaged by HSE orthodontic services, it is imperative that the 2012-2015 review into this matter is published.

“Furthermore, it is also essential that the Minister for Health launches a comprehensive national oral health policy that ensures oral health is a central part of the health service.

“I have been calling on the Minister to launch a national oral health policy since 2017 and it appears that it has taken this week’s media reports to force him to do so.” 

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