A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

NHS Dentistry back to teeth pulling and pain!

What can be said of the state of NHS Dentistry. Not a lot. Well, to be fair, it's probably better to respond as the proverbial curate did. "It's good in parts!"

I've not met a dentist yet who actually likes the way government handles dentistry within the NHS. Of course, coming up to the 60th birthday bash for the NHS, it is a brave person who will actually criticise full on. Complaining about the way the NHS is run is rather like being accused of denigrating Nelson Mandela. Heaven forfend that there is anything wrong with this behemoth created by that wily Welsh wonder, Aneurin Bevan.

It was, of course, Bevan that perpetrated the biggest con on British society. He introduced National Insurance to pay for the NHS. INSURANCE? Humpty Dumpty could not have dreamt of such a misuse of a word. Even today, people come on the television saying "I've paid my contributions!" as if they were in some sort of policy for health care. Nothing of the sort. It was a slush fund from the start.

Now if it had been properly run, with those "contributions" being properly invested, then we would be seeing some sense today. But even Margaret Thatcher recoiled at Sir Keith Joseph's desire to see the National Insurance scandal reformed.

In his Commons report, Kevin Barron said, "It is disappointing that so far the new contract has failed to improve the patient's experience of dental services." He sounds like a man who's just discovered something new! I prefer the comments of Susie Sanderson, from the British Dental Association, who described it as a "damning report". She said, "It highlights the failure of a farcical contract that has alienated the profession and caused uncertainty to patients." Damning indeed.

A Department of Health spokesman said it would "carefully consider" the recommendations of the Commons report but said that the benefits of the reforms were already emerging. "We have invested over £200m in NHS dentistry this year, over and above increases in the last three years. This takes our total investment to over £2bn." TWO BILLION! I ask myself, are these people fit and proper persons to be handling such large sums of money? There must be a better way. Divide the population of the country (say 60 million) into this sum and you get enough for free check-ups all round. I think some people are lining their pockets on the way. We must be fools indeed!

So dentists are pulling teeth rather than expending time on expensive treatment for which they will not be paid. No wonder Candid Camera was dropped from our TV screens. "Smile, please! You're on Candid Camera. Well, actually, on second thoughts, don't!"


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