20 times more children awaiting orthodontic assessment in HSE South than in the North East
Figures released by Fine Gael Cork South Central Senator, Jerry Buttimer, today (Tuesday) revealed the staggering number of children in Cork and the HSE South region who are being forced to wait for orthodontic assessment to determine whether or not they may need corrective treatment (see PQ at end).
“Official figures released to Fine Gael by the HSE show that there are an overwhelming 3,455 children in Cork and the HSE South area waiting for orthodontic assessment, and that they are waiting a lengthy 12 months to have that assessment. This, compared to just 168 children in the HSE North East where children are being seen in around 10 weeks.
“Our young children in the Cork area are clearly being neglected and discriminated against where orthodontic provision is concerned. This is a time critical service which means that children must be promptly assessed and given corrective orthodontic treatment as soon as possible if a positive outcome is to be achieved.
“The HSE South must answer how and why Cork has been left so far behind. The excuse of the staff moratorium and a delay in appointing a new consultant orthodontist simply will not wash.
“There are two prominent Government Ministers in Cork and a Green Party Senator who is never off the airwaves, yet our children and their oral health have been allowed to drop to the bottom of the priority list where this failed Government is concerned.
“With a total of 9,601 children awaiting assessment nationally, children in the south make-up a whopping 36% of the total waiting list. This is completely unacceptable.
“Fianna Fáil and the Greens need to stop attacking our children and start taking their oral health seriously. Fine Gael recently highlighted how dental experts challenged, what they see as, an indefensible HSE memo telling them not to fill children’s baby teeth, as a means of scaling back on scarce resources.
“I have contacted Fine Gael Health Spokesperson, Dr. James Reilly who has assured me he will be raising these issues with the Minister when the Dáil resumes. In addition Cllr John Buttimer will raise the matter at the HSE Regional Health Forum.
“It is unfathomable that Fianna Fáil and the Greens can pour billions into a failed Anglo Irish Bank while leaving our children without funding for orthodontic assessment. They are a disgrace. The time for them to go has long passed.”