The Government has been urged to address “unacceptable” waiting lists for orthodontic services in Donegal.
Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said that some of his constituents say they are facing delays of up to four years for assessment alone.
Deputy Pringle told the Dáil about a parent whose 14-year-old daughter has now been two years on the waiting list, just to be assessed for braces. The child was told that when she went on the waiting list, even after assessment, she could be another two years waiting for treatment.
‘This is seriously affecting her self-confidence and getting her down’,” the parent said.
Another one wrote to Deputy Pringle to say: ‘My 16-year-old daughter has been referred and waiting for an assessment by an orthodontic consultant for almost four years.’
“This surely is unacceptable, Tánaiste,” the deputy said. He raised the issue today during questions on policy or legislation.
Deputy Pringle said: “They’ve been told that no assessments have taken place there since last March, that they don’t even have the necessary equipment to do the assessments anyway, nor do they have the necessary and dedicated accommodation to provide the service.
“Tánaiste, my question is: Do you think that’s acceptable for the people of Donegal and what are you going to do about actually rectifying the situation?”
In his response, the Tánaiste, Micheál Martin, said he did not have the specifics in respect of every county at hand but said orthodontics have always been challenging, notwithstanding the unprecedented funding allocated to the sector.