Dentistry overhaul say Tories19th May 2009
The Conservative Party's shadow health secretary has spoken out against the way that NHS dentistry is run in England and Wales.
Andrew Lansley said: "Dentists are fed up with the flawed system of perverse incentives that Labour have introduced. We will make preventative treatment a real priority because we urgently need to improve our nation's dental health."
The Tories want to see a reform of the whole system, to include check-ups at school, charges for missed appointments and changes to how dentists are paid.
The government brought in a new contract for dentists in 2006 which got rid of the registration system. Instead of lists of patients, dentists' payments were based on their completion of a defined amount of "courses of treatment".
The change was aimed at giving dentists more time with their patients. Critics of the contract have pointed to the latest data, which showed that one million fewer patients were being seen.
A Department of Health spokesman said: "We aim to ensure that everyone who wants to see an NHS dentist can by March 2011."
"We have invested over £2bn in NHS dentistry - the result is more NHS dental practices expanding and opening all the time."
The Conservatives said they would reinstate the registration process so that dentists' payments were based on them seeing a set number of patients.
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Title: Dentistry overhaul say Tories
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 11416
Date Added: 19th May 2009