Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Letter to Indy on dentistry

Letter to the Independent on the new dentistry report:

Sir, The renewed debate on NHS dentistry is very welcome and Professor Steele's report contains some useful ideas, however unless the government addresses the real problem that many people simply can't afford to pay for dental treatments, improvements in dental health will not take great leaps forward.

Dentistry could easily be funded through taxation and be free at the point of need, making it a universal service and not one that is 'expensive or slightly less expensive'. Free access to dentistry would cost a fraction of the money spent on NHS IT or running the NHS market, yet would deliver massive benefits to the people who need it most.

It is time that the government addressed the real problem, that NHS dentistry fails the primary test of NHS services - it is not free at the point of need.

Stuart Jeffery
Health spokesperson for the Green Party

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