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Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 551 No. 3

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 178. Mr. G. Mitchell Information on Gay Mitchell Zoom on Gay Mitchell  asked the Minister for Health and Children Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin  the length of time a person (details supplied) is waiting for dental treatment with an orthodontist; the length of time before this person will be treated by an orthodontist; if this person were to go privately to an orthodontist, whether she would be entitled to a contribution towards the cost of private treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10637/02]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Last year additional funding of €6.729 million was provided by my Department for orthodontic services, of which €4.698 million was for an orthodontic initiative. This initiative is enabling health boards to recruit additional staff, develop new treatment facilities and engage the services of private specialist orthodontic practitioners to treat persons who have been assessed with a treatment need under guidelines issued by my Department.

A grant in-aid scheme such as that described by the Deputy in respect of persons assessed with a treatment need was previously proposed by the Northern Area Health Board of the Eastern Regional Health Authority. However, the board has received legal advice to the effect that such a scheme would conflict with the statutory provisions of the Health Act, 1970.

Responsibility for the provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons in Dublin rests with the Eastern Regional Health Authority. My Department has asked the chief executive officer to investigate the matter raised by the Deputy and to reply to him directly.


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