Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Dentistry Fiasco Update


Open your wallet very wide please
We've blogged the NHS dentist fiasco many times (eg here). And today we hear that the Department of Health's latest convoluted attempt to increase availability has flopped.

Their new contract for NHS dentists was supposed to end the piecework "drill and fill" culture, yet at the same time somehow expand supply. In reality it's made even more dentists jump ship altogether: in the year to end-March, the number of NHS dentists actually fell from 21,111 to 21,038.

Health minister Ann Keen ludicrously claims:

"Putting right nearly two decades of deterioration in NHS coverage is not the work of 12 months. It will take longer to develop services to a position where all primary care trusts are able to meet local requirements fully."

She's clearly overlooked Tony Blair's notorious "pledge" nearly a decade ago:

"Everyone within the next two years will be able once again to see an NHS dentist."

NHS dentistry now costs us nearly £2bn pa. Yet patient numbers are lower than ever.

The hopeless Department of Health is incapable of even managing itself (eg see this blog). So why on earth should we believe its claims to manage dentistry?

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