Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has highlighted a ‘scandalous situation’ whereby a child who was on a waiting list for almost 3 years for Orthodontic treatment had her appointment cancelled because of a lack of dental x-ray facilities in Merlin Park Hospital in Galway.
Commenting on the issue Eugene Murphy TD said “This is an outrageous and simply unacceptable situation whereby a child from County Roscommon has been on a waiting list for almost three years for Orthodontic treatment and when she finally got an appointment they arrived to Merlin Park only to discover that the x-ray machine was broken down.
“The child was given an appointment for November for what her family believed was to be the commencement of Orthodontic treatment. Dental x-rays are obviously specialised and it is not possible to have the x-rays carried out in a standard dental practice and the family was happy to incur the cost of these privately in order to allow the child commence her treatment. However to make matter worse when the mother contacted the Orthodontic Department this week and asked if it was possible to have x-rays carried out elsewhere privately she was told this was not possible.
“In a letter to the family the Orthodontic Department stated that “there had been ongoing problems with the x-ray equipment over the past couple of years and this machine had reached the end of its working life” and needed to be replaced. It seems that the Orthodontic Department has ceased work on new referrals in order to put pressure on management to purchase this x-ray machine and it is outrageous to make innocent children the scapegoat of such a situation and it is simply not acceptable that children from Galway, Mayo and Roscommon should be treated with an utter lack of respect,” said Deputy Murphy.
The Fianna Fail Deputy said that management had been aware for some time that the dental x-ray equipment needed to be replaced but the situation was left to develop into a crisis mode whereby there is now no dental x-ray facilities in the radiography department of Merlin Park Hospital and no new patients will be seen.
“The child in question has a significant overbite and is in need of urgent Orthodontic treatment. It is scandalous that she had been left languishing on a waiting list for three years for this service only to now be told that that there are no dental x-ray facilities,” said Deputy Murphy.
Eugene Murphy TD has raised the matter with the Minister for Health Simon Harris and has tabled a parliamentary question in relation to the matter.