Dáil Éireann - Volume 571 - 30 September, 2003

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

  841. Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children the status of plans to build a new orthodontic department in the dental school, Cork, in view of the fact that the dental school cannot train postgraduate students until this new department is completed; and his plans to facilitate consultants in the regional services to provide the co-operation of the dental schools training within the regional health services to train health board staff in orthodontics. [19923/03]

  Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): My Department has funded the recruitment of a professor of orthodontics at Cork university dental school, to facilitate the development of an approved training programme leading to specialist qualification in orthodontics. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the Southern Health Board has reported that the post will be filled with effect from December 2003.

  My Department has also given approval in principle to a proposal to further substantially improve the training facilities at Cork dental school for orthodontics. This project should see the construction of a large orthodontic unit and support facilities; it will ultimately support an enhanced teaching and treatment service under the leadership of the professor of orthodontics.

  My Department is substantially facilitating the training of dentists for specialist in orthodontics qualifications. This year my Department and the health boards are funding 13 dentists, from var[569] ious health boards, for specialist training in Ireland and at three separate universities in the United Kingdom. These trainees are in addition to the six dentists who are already participating in a specialist in orthodontics training programme. All the dentists participating on these programmes will be trained to an internationally accepted standard and will be recognised as specialists once they qualify. My Department has provided funding of almost one and a half million euro for these training programmes.