Dentistry postcode lottery20th December 2006
The NHS dentistry postcode lottery continues with new research highlighting major problems in Wales.
Based on information on the NHS Direct website, five of the twenty two Welsh health boards were found to be without a dentist offering new NHS places, while others were only able to offer an appointment in a year’s time. Despite record investment by the Welsh Assembly Government, there are currently no new NHS places available in Anglesey, Bridgend, Ceredigion, Neath, Port Talbot or Pembrokeshire. In counties where spaces are available, the earliest appointment can be months away.
A spokesperson said that despite the figures, access to NHS dentists had improved "significantly" and First Minister Rhodri Morgan has pledged that "everyone who wants NHS dentistry should be able to get it by 31 March 2007." But, the British Dental Association in Wales has said the lack of NHS dentist places was due to a funding shortage and that dentistry practises are simply running out of money.
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