Sunday, April 24, 2005

Politician Calls Out a Dentist Over NHS failures

Rhona Brankin really got her teeth into the election campaign this week.

Rhona Brankin accused the dentist of staging "a political stunt"

Here is an interesting story from the U.K. where a minister calls out a dentist for a Political Stunt. What did the dentist do? He limited his practice to non-National Health Service (NHS) patients or as they call it across the pond - went private.

The story goes on:

She's the deputy health minister who launched an astonishing attack on a dentist in Stranraer.

Rhona Brankin accused the dentist of staging "a political stunt"

She didn't actually bite Kenneth Barr but she stood up in parliament and said his behaviour was "appalling".

His decision to go private - and leave 3,000 patients without an NHS dentist - was "a political stunt", she said.

Mr Barr says he has been defamed and is consulting his lawyer.

All he's doing, he said, is giving patients the time necessary for quality treatment.

"There's been a steady erosion of funding in NHS dental services over the years," he told BBC Scotland.

We've become used to the SNP using question time to drop yet another embarrassing statistic on the first minister's head

"We are no longer able to maintain and indeed advance our high quality of service."

He is taking on 1,000 private patients and will continue only to treat children and special needs cases on the NHS.

Ms Brankin was furious and said: "It's not good enough for dentists to be able to train at the expense of the public purse, to build up an NHS list, to build up the trust and confidence of patients in Stranraer and then walk away."

The Scottish National Party's Roseanna Cunningham - convener of the health committee - was able to make the point that Mr Barr was doing what many dentists have been doing all over Scotland, because the fees paid by the NHS are too low.

Only 3% of Scotland's 3,700 dentists are expecting to increase their NHS work.

Ms Brankin told MSPs that dentists should stay loyal to the NHS. The executive is investing an extra £150m over the next three years in dental services.

There will be 200 more dentists trained, grants of up to £20,000 to help dentists set up in rural areas and "the biggest tooth brushing education programme in Europe".

Wow, they are doing a tooth brushing education programme! How about some dietary counseling and an anti-smoking campaign. How about some privitization of your miserable healthcare system?

Will these socialists ever get a clue?

Now, they resort to name calling.


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