There are a lot of kids and adolescents in Cork and Kerry, Ireland, who are still stuck on waiting lists for orthodontic treatments and/or assessments, either to check whether they’re candidate for braces, or get proper treatment.
The two Irish counties have at least 3,500 who can’t get treatment, a number that the Fianna Fáil (Irish Republican Party) TD Michael McGrath as appalling.
New data given to Mr. MacGrath by the Health and Safety Executive put the spotlight on the issues the orthodontist field is dealing with in the region, with hundreds of candidate for braces and other patients stuck waiting. The data was mandated by a parliamentary question, which confirmed that Cork and Kerry counties have 2,170 children and adolescents waiting for orthodontic treatment, with an additional 1,496 still waiting for their assessment.
Many of these patients have waited for a long time, with one particularly unlucky patient having waited at least 4 years for a treatment.
Out of the almost 1,500 patients still waiting for their assessment, three have been waiting for at least 2 years, 192 have been waiting for at least a year, while about 581 have been waiting for 7-12 months.
Of those who are waiting for treatment, the issue is just as bad.
161 patients have been waiting between 37-48 months, 375 have been waiting between 25-36 months, 679 have been waiting for at least a year, while 515 have been waiting for seven months to a year.
Mr. McGrath stated that the issues about waiting lists are rather worrying due to the fact that at least half of the list have been waiting for a full year, at least, for their appointment.
According to data from the HSE, there are only 2 consultant orthodontists to account for all of Cork and Kerry, and, while there aren’t any vacant posts for consultants, the number shows that more staff are needed in order to keep up with the demand.
The Cork South-Central TD stated their thoughts on the matter, saying that the issue exists not because of lack of investment in health service, which are at record numbers, but in improper management. This, in turn, has led to children and teenagers having to suffer.