Fianna Fáil TD for Longford – Westmeath Robert Troy has accused Fine Gael of ignoring the healthcare needs of people in the Midlands after obtaining new information which shows that 1,896 people are now stuck on orthodontic treatment waiting lists.

The HSE also confirmed to Deputy Troy that the CHO8 hospital area, which includes Longford, Westmeath, Laois and Offaly has been left without a consultant orthodontist since May 2013.

Deputy Troy said, “It’s nothing short of a disgrace that the Midlands has been left without a consultant orthodontist for almost 5 years. It’s inexcusable that this post has been left vacant for so long, especially at a time when the waiting list for orthodontic treatment is going through the roof.

“I have also obtained new information which shows that two dental nurses left the HSE over the last year, and another person is due to retire next May. The HSE has made an application to fill these posts but it could take some time before this process is complete. It’s unbelievable that a plan wasn’t put in place to ensure that new dental nurses were hired in a timely manner.

“Serious questions need to be answered by Fine Gael representatives regarding the handling of orthodontic services in the Midlands. We’ve known for years that the waiting lists are on the rise, yet no action has been taken to alleviate the problem. This needs to be sorted out,” concluded Deputy Troy.