Postponing major dental surgery at Ennis Hospital will ultimately result in higher costs and longer wait times for public sector patients, a local Dáil MP has warned.
Deputy Michael McNamara issued the warning after the HSE informed him that no general anesthesia sessions were being held at Ennis hospital due to a shortage of properly trained theater nurses. The independent MP is very disappointed with the lack of progress on this issue, which he also highlighted last December.
Like any medical intervention, the Scariff-based assistant stressed that early intervention is essential for all major dental work requiring general anesthesia.
Deputy McNamara expressed concern that some people in need of dental treatment may suffer greatly and that their mental well-being also has a negative impact on their mental well-being, if they have dental visual impairment, which is particularly acute. in the case of young people. He urged the HSE to speed up the recruitment process in order to hire the required number of theater nurses to bring this service back into service.
Commenting on public patients requiring dental treatment who live in West and North Clare, he said they now have to travel to Nenagh for major dental treatment.
Mid-West Community Healthcare has confirmed that non-dental general anesthesia sessions have taken place at Ennis Hospital since the last official response to this issue last December.
Two lists of general anesthesia were offered in April 2021 at Ennis Hospital, but they had to be canceled due to a shortage of properly qualified theater nurses. The HSE said it was actively working to recruit suitably qualified staff. The senior dentist said the dental department had arranged general anesthesia sessions for a number of Clare patients at Nenagh Hospital.
When Deputy McNamara raised this issue last December, the Mid-West HSE reported that there were 198 patients awaiting dental services under general anesthesia at Ennis Hospital until the end of October.
The HSE proposed at the time that the dental general anesthesia list start subject to low levels at Ennis hospital next January. Deputy Michael McNamara had asked Minister of Health Stephen Donnelly the number of dental surgeries performed; the number of surgeries that have been canceled and the current waiting list for dental surgeries at Ennis Hospital.
Helen Duggan of the Mid-West Primary Care Office has confirmed that the general anesthesia dental clinic scheduled for March 12, 2020 at Ennis Hospital has been canceled and the number of patients scheduled for tooth extraction using of an anesthetic in this clinic was ten.
As the general anesthesia list for dental services was suspended due to Covid-19 from March 12 and has not yet started again, no further clinics have been organized.
Ms. Duggan explained that the community dental service had access to one general anesthesia session every other week and that around ten patients would receive treatment at each of these clinics.
“Basically, these general dental anesthesia lists weren’t canceled, they weren’t scheduled. However, strictly speaking in a non-Covid-19 environment, there would have been around 16 lists of general dental anesthesia theaters scheduled between March 12 and October 31 and the lists would have treated around 160 people ”, a- she declared.
By Dan Danaher