NHS dentist for 26,000
 

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NHS dentist for 26,000

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NHS dentist for 26,000

 

NHS dentist for 26,000

A private company is planning to provide up to 26,000 NHS places for dental patients in mid and west Wales.

Denticare is setting up five surgeries in Newtown, Brecon, and Lampeter, Port Talbot and Killay.

The firm says it is receiving approximately £40,000 from the assembly government for each practice under a programme to increase the number of dentists.

Queues of people trying to register with a dentist have become more common because of a ‘chronic shortage’.

In August last year, about 300 people queued in Llangollen when a dentist opened for new registrations for one day.

Similar scenes have appeared across mid and west Wales with some people saying that they have had no choice but to travel to England for treatment.

Patients will register as new NHS patients in the new clinics next week, and the company said if there is enough demand they will operate waiting lists.

Denticare have said they are receiving about £40,000 set-up costs per practice from the Welsh Assembly Government, as part of an initiative to increase the number of dentists.

The remaining cost would be financed by the company. Once established, each of the 15 dentists in the five practices, would take up to 2,200 patients.

Brian Hancock, Denticare's clinical director, said they were setting up ‘for the long haul’.

He said: ‘The last penny of profit is not our mission statement. There is little profit in NHS dentistry. It's particularly difficult for those people who are working in smaller practices.

‘I'm appreciative of the fact that some people have a morbid curiosity as to how we make money. But I would have thought people would like to know where these sites are and where they can get NHS provisions.’

He added that patients in some of the areas where the company was launching its practices would not be able to afford private dental care.

‘We've targeted the places with the greatest need and it will be appreciated.’

But The British Dental Association (BDA) in Wales said the move was ‘not equitable’ and could destabilise existing NHS practices.
It said it feared that Denticare could receive more favourable terms from Local Health Boards (LHBs) than existing dentists.
Stuart Geddes, chairman of the BDA's Welsh General Dental Services Committee, said: ‘Companies such as Denticare coming into Wales receive two lots of aid.

‘We believe that as well as the £40,000 set-up grant from the assembly, Denticare will be given fixed contracts by local health boards from April - higher than those being given to smaller dentists which could prevent them from expanding.’

 Posted on : Sun 26th - Feb - 2006

 

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