Independent TD Mattie McGrath has slammed the HSE for its lack of progress in reducing the extraordinary waiting times for orthodontic and dental treatment being endured by South Tipperary residents. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he was contacted by parents who had just been told their daughter would have to wait until August 2015 before an available appointment could be made, despite her being on the current waiting list since 2011:
“I have been pursuing this matter for almost two years now with the office of the Minister for Health, and despite all assurances that have been given nothing has changed on the ground.
In reply to a Parliamentary Question I posed to the then Minister at the beginning of 2013 I was told that the HSE had commissioned an independent review of orthodontic services and that the final actions of the review of orthodontic services were being completed.
Yet the reality is that we still have cases like this situation where a child who has been waiting since 2011 for treatment, was told she would be finally seen this month after a three year wait, but who now has had it snatched away from her and postponed for another year, to August 2015. This is no way for a health service to operate.
The numbers speak for themselves. In April of this year there was almost 400 people in HSE South waiting up to four years for treatment, waiting times which we now know have not been reduced and are actually being extended. These statistics are clearly indicative of a near collapse in terms of reasonable waiting times that patients should have to experience.
The latest figures we have reveal that there are 829 people having to wait between 13 – 24 months and a truly shocking 1056 people waiting anything between 2 – 3 years. This is appalling and it speaks to the untold misery that families and individuals are going through as part as the dysfunctional HSE process for appointments,” concluded Deputy McGrath.