DISAPPOINTING DELAYS IN DENTAL SERVICE – BROUGHAN

Following representations for concerned parents on behalf of their young children awaiting dental work, Deputy Broughan asked the Minister for Health on the number of children awaiting examinations.  Recently, he received disappointing and unacceptable figures for the DNCC Dental Service (CHO Area 9) in a response to that Parliamentary Questions.  Dublin North and Dublin North Central and North West (DNCC) had over 21,797 children awaiting examination in September 2019 but these figures do not include 4th class.  The PQ reply stated “due to staffing issues and a growing population, Dublin North has been unable to examine 4th class for the last 2 years.”

Deputy Broughan says “The reply explains that 6th class pupils are prioritised, followed by 2nd class and that 4th class is the lowest priority. However, the reply also states that it is these three class that coincide with key dental developmental stages and that “missing 4th class means that there could be a higher treatment need in 6th class as well as not assessing potential orthodontic issues earlier”. According to the figures provided to me, in January of this year, 7,646 children had been waiting for more than 3 months for their examination. By September, 34 of those children were waiting for more than three months for their identified treatment.” Clearly more resources are needed to meet the need of the higher population.