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The government big enough....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hacon1, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. hacon1

    hacon1 Monkey+++

    to give you health care, is big enough to take it away.

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Dentists 'under pressure to treat fewer children'


    Dentists are under pressure not to treat children as the NHS cannot afford to fund their care, it was claimed yesterday.

    Health trusts want dentists to concentrate on targeting adult patients who have to pay for treatment, according to a pressure group.

    The claims, to a Commons health select committee, come as figures show that one in three children has not visited a dentist for up to two years.

    Eddie Crouch, a founding member of dental pressure group Challenge, said: "There is a danger that children will be turned away because of undue pressure from primary care trusts to get revenue from dentists. This money obviously comes from adult patients who pay for treatment."

    He added: "The new arrangements have failed to provide many of the important benefits that the Department of Health wished to achieve.

    "There are growing inequalities in access to care, and the quality assurance mechanisms are woeful."

    Early last year many dentists were forced to stop treating children until April after local health trusts ran out of money at the end of the financial year.

    The trusts faced budget shortfalls after the Government overestimated how much would be raised from dental fees. Mr Crouch's comments were backed by the London Regional Group of Local Dental Committees.

    In a statement to the committee it said there was increasing pressure to treat more adults and that people from deprived backgrounds would suffer.

    "Children and adults who are exempt from NHS charges are among the most in need of dental help," it said.

    "Yet PCTs require dentists to ensure that a certain proportion of the patients they treat are sufficiently well off to pay for their own NHS treatment, in order to maintain the PCT's financial balance.

    "We know of dentists who have been told that unless they see a higher proportion of paying NHS patients, they will have their contract capacity curtailed."

    Other experts told the committee that dentists would actually be better off financially if they pulled out children's teeth rather than go through the time-consuming process of attempting to save the tooth with a root canal filling.

    The Government set up the select committee to investigate the state of NHS dentistry after it emerged that 250,000 fewer patients saw a dentist in the year since the introduction of the new contract in April 2006.

    The number of children seeing a dentist within the previous two years has fallen by 19,000 from the figure in 2006 and only half of adults have seen a dentist within the past 24 months.

    With an average patient list of around 2,500, that would mean 1.25million patients have lost access to a dentist. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
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