Debacle at the dentist
THE shortage of NHS dentists is yet another sign of how this Government has failed to look after the health service.
The exodus of talent has driven the number of NHS appointments available each month down from 3.5 million to 2.3 million. As a result, patients are left with a choice of paying to go private or resort to dangerous DIY dentistry.
Many people simply cannot afford to go private and nobody should be forced to live in pain or have to carry out their own procedures.
The British Dental Association says its members are leaving the NHS because the Government has cut funding for the service and created a perverse payment structure that leaves them out of pocket.
The Conservatives cannot be blind to how desperate the situation has become. The lack of NHS dentists was cited by voters in the Tiverton and Honiton by-elections as one of the reasons they backed Labour and the Lib Dems.
It is time the Tories realised you cannot provide NHS dentistry without NHS dentists.