Parties focus on dentistry in General Election countdown
 

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Parties focus on dentistry in General Election countdown

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Parties focus on dentistry in General Election countdown

 

Parties focus on dentistry in General Election countdown

Senior politicians from the three main parties were spending the final days of the general election campaign trying to hammer home their key messages on dentistry and public health.

With opinion polls suggesting the result of the May 6 poll was up in the air, Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats all staked their claims to be the party of the NHS.

Tory shadow health minister Mike Penning, whose party's manifesto was the only one of the three to include commitments on dentistry, said: 'Under Labour, fewer people are able to see an NHS dentist. So, we will introduce a new dentistry contract that will focus on achieving good dental health, not simply the number of treatments achieved.

'This will tie newly qualified dentists into the NHS for five years and allow dentists to fine people who consistently miss appointments. These changes will allow us to give one million more people access to an NHS dentist and give every five year old a dental check-up.'

Lib Dem health spokeswoman Sandra Gidley said: 'The crisis in dentistry is one of Labour's most shameful legacies. We would increase the number of dentists working in the NHS by making sure that every dentist who takes a public bursary does five years‚ work for the NHS.

'We would also reform the way the contract works so that dentists are paid on a capitation basis and alongide this we would incentivise dentists to provide preventative dental health care, aiming to improve the dental health of the nation.'

Mrs Gidley added: 'None of this will happen overnight because successive governments have let the rot set in but I would also want to see dentists as part of the decision making process and not marginalised as in the past.'

Meanwhile, health secretary Andy Burnham defended Labour's record on health and raised questions over the Conservative Party's commitment to the NHS.

He told Dentistry: 'The Tories want to take money out of public spending. Things will be tougher, but look at the Labour record. We have renewed the fabric of the NHS – it's a job nearly done but not quite.

'People will hear competing promises but in their hearts of hearts who would voters expect to come up with the goods. Most would recognise Labour's track record and the same can't be said for our opponents.'


Take our online poll on the home page and vote for the Party you think offers the best dentistry pledges in the run-up to next week's General Election.


 Posted on : Thu 29th - Apr - 2010

 

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