Warning: This post was published more than 10 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
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Many thanks for your understanding.
I’ve written a lot in the past about the NHS, but rarely have I touched upon the subject of dentistry – mainly because it’s not an area in which I think I have particularly special knowledge.
This missive from a reader of Dr Crippen needs no specialist knowledge:
Several years ago I had an NHS dentist. I saw him regularly albeit reluctantly, he used to do his ‘stuff’ and I’d leave, sometimes sore and sometimes not.
Then I moved house.
The area I moved to has few NHS dentists and none of them has vacancies for new NHS patients. I’ve been on four different waiting lists for several years during which I’ve received no dental treatment.
It started with a single filling falling out, shortly followed by another and then within six months nearly every filling in my head ended up in the bin. I rang all the NHS Dentists in the area but I was turned away. I was not registered and, in any case, they had no vacancies. Some of the dental practices didn’t even bother to talk to me. As soon as I mentioned ‘NHS’ and ‘Not Registered’ they just put the phone down on me.
The full story (well worth reading) reminds everybody that the Labour government has done little to improve the health service in any meaningful way – an assessment with which the Health Secretary “Mad” Pat agrees.
Let me remind you, for a moment, of Tony Blair’s conference speech of 1999:
…everyone within the next two years will be able once again to see an NHS dentist just by phoning NHS Direct
Seven years later, and NHS dentistry is in a worse state than when Tony Blair made his pledge.
Another broken promise. Another absent apology.