Monday, January 31, 2005

Scots NHS dentistry about to 'collapse'

Scots NHS dentistry about to 'collapse'

Key points
Dental Association warns dentists will have to cease taking on NHS patients
64,000 people have been removed from NHS dentists' lists since 1999
Borders' residents travel to England for dental treatment

Key quote
"Why are dentists in England able to offer such an excellent service while many practices on our side of the Border don’t entertain NHS patients?" - Valerie Robson, councillor for Liddesdale.

Story in full NATIONAL Health Service dentistry in Scotland is on the brink of total collapse, experts said last night.

The British Dental Association (BDA) has told The Scotsman that every practice in the country will be forced to stop taking new NHS patients unless the Executive carries out a radical overhaul of the system.

The BDA said the budget for NHS dental treatment must be trebled to stabilise the "crumbling" service.

The lack of available NHS treatment has forced thousands of patients into the private sector. But the higher costs of treatment mean that many choose not to attend regular appointments, worsening the nation’s poor dental record.

The dire situation facing patients is highlighted by the plight of up to 200 people in the Borders village of Newcastleton, who say they have been forced to travel to England as "dental immigrants" for NHS treatment.

The Executive is due to publish its proposals to modernise dental services within weeks. But an investigation by The Scotsman today underlines the urgency of radical action and planning for financial stability.

Never before have so many people been thrown off NHS lists by their own dentists.

Since devolved power was handed to the Executive in 1999, nearly 64,000 people have been removed from NHS dentists’ lists, often either against their will or without being informed.

Read the remaining article here.

Me thinks they should try a dose of FREE ENTERPRISE!

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