Swords Orthodontics
17 Main St, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland

HSE Waiting Lists 2013 for Orthodontics in Ireland

Orthodontics Waiting Lists in the HSE

I sometimes write about Orthodontics waiting lists in Ireland. Just to recap, the Health Service Executive (HSE) offers treatment without charge to patients who meet both these conditions:

  1. They have been assessed by a dentist in the community dental service and referred to a HSE specialist orthodontist before their 16th birthday
  2. They have been assessed by the HSE orthodontist and found to have a significantly bad orthodontic problem that is considered to be a problem to their dental health (this is based on a system called IOTN- the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Needs, grade 4 or 5  on a 1-5 scale would be the grades that are severe enough to qualify) 

As of the second quarter of 2013, these are the waiting list numbers for Ireland:

Waiting time from assessment to commencement of treatment (Grade 4)

1 - 6 months

7 - 12 months

13 - 24 months

2 - 3 years

Over 4 years

TOTAL

HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster

371

403

594

534

15

1917

HSE West

215

705

613

740

29

2302

HSE South

138

91

157

934

103

1423

HSE DublinNorth East

160

268

429

869

191

1917

TOTAL

884

1467

1793

3077

338

7559

Waiting time from assessment to commencement of treatment (Grade 5)

1 - 6 months

7 - 12 months

13 - 24 months

2 - 3 years

Over 4 years

TOTAL

HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster

491

343

365

190

1

1390

HSE West

351

430

552

460

32

1825

HSE South

188

872

338

256

88

1742

HSE DublinNorth East

181

363

435

366

3

1348

TOTAL

1211

2008

1690

1272

124

6305

These figures were made public as a result of Dail question time in October of this year.

This shows the numbers of people that have already been assessed by a HSE orthodontist and are on the waiting list for orthodontic treatment. They don't include the number of people that are waiting to be assessed by the orthodontist, and there could be a significant delay for this depending on the number of orthodontists available to do the assessments.

It isn't made clear whether the numbers assiged to each waiting time grouping are prospective or retrospective - in other words, it's not clear whether that's the time the HSE thinks they'll be waiting for treatment, or the time that they have been waiting up until now. I suspect it's retrospective, but don't take my word for it.

Put simply, that's the amount of time that they had been on the list, and it could end up being longer if there are things that mean that the HSE in that area can't treat as many patients as quickly as usual - staff shortages, maternity leave that isn't covered, orthodontists that aren't replaced, etc.

Finally, some orthodontic treatments work best at certain ages - particularly ones that involve jaw widening and functional appliances like twin blocks to correct big overjets (where the top teeth stick out beyond the lower ones more than normal), and a long time on a waiting list can seriously disrupt the ideal timing of these treatments.

Blog Tags