Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Donegal Charlie McConalogue says the situation with cancelled procedures and soaring waiting lists for orthodontic treatment at Letterkenny University Hospital is nothing short of a scandal. Staff shortages and damaged and broken equipment have seen these waiting lists escalate over recent months.
Mr. McConalogue explained, “I have been contacted by a number of worried parents whose children are being forced to wait for months for orthodontic treatment despite being classified as urgent cases. This is a completely unacceptable situation. I have raised this issue with the Health Minister on numerous occasions, who has confirmed that dental nurse post has been vacant for most of last year.
“On top of the staffing issues at the hospital, there are also major equipment problems – three of the dental chairs in the department have been broken for months and the Saolta Hospital Group has refused to take responsibility for the damage.
“One parent told me that her daughter has been on a waiting list for 22 months and has been told that she will have to wait at least another 6 months to have the treatment carried out at LUH, or go to Sligo, where they delay may not be as long.
“The most recent stats reveal that at the end of November there were 260 children categorised as “urgent” on the waiting list – 118 are waiting more than 2 years. It is an outrageous situation that children are being forced to wait years for treatment because of staffing delays and broken equipment. It is high time that the Health Minister intervened and addressed these unacceptable waiting times”.