Rowen continues NHS Dentist Pressure!

February 21, 2006 2:29 PM

Paul Rowen MP today slammed Tony Blair and previous Conservative Governments for failing to tackle the growing NHS dentistry crisis during a debate in Westminster Hall. Paul used the recent example of the closure of Balderstone Dental Practice in Rochdale to slam more broken promises from a Government lurching from one false promise to another.

Speaking after the debate Paul said: "NHS dentistry has been rotten for a long time - but it's getting even worse year by year. In Rochdale people who want an NHS dentist are being sent to the far side of Bury, North Manchester and beyond to get treatment. April 1st 2006 is the date when new Dental Contracts come, but it is also a bad day for Rochdale when the Balderstone Practice closes. When Tony Blair made the promise in 1999 that anyone who wanted Dental Treatment on the NHS they would receive it - I expected teething problems, this has now developed into full blown tooth ache!"

Paul continued, "The Tories slashed the number of dental schools so we now have a shortage of qualified dentists, and Labour seems determined to drive the few remaining NHS dentists into private practice. Tony Blair keeps telling us how much more money's going into the NHS - and we know our taxes have gone up - but where are the improvements? When I tackled the Health Minister in the House of Commons even she had to admit that there hasn't been any progress in Rochdale - far from it! When Labour came to power 58% of people were registered with NHS dentists and now it's just 38%.

Paul has promised to continue the battle in Parliament, he said, "Many local dentists have told me that they just can't provide the level of care they would like on the NHS. Dentists should not be forced to make a choice between providing a good service and working in the NHS. Unfortunately in places like Rochdale people no longer have a choice."