NHS doctors say that after the new reforms very few patients were expected to come in. the main reason being that there is a radical overhaul of dental charges to take effect next week. This has angered the dentists who are threatening to leave the NHS. A survey showed that out of 45 local dentists in England 23 responded saying that this would be the net result.
The survey was carried out for ITV1's Tonight with Trevor McDonald, to be broadcast this evening. A separate survey of the British Dental Association found 90% of the 35 committees of dentist that the dental scenario is going to change for the worst. All 109 committees in England and Wales were contacted for the survey. But the Department of Health had something else to say. It said that most dentists were signing new contracts. But the British Dental Association (BDA) said that this was due to the pressure and they signed the contracts in dispute.
A spokeswoman for the BDA said that around 90 % of dentists have signed because they had to continue working in the NHS. The main cause of the dentist's displeasure is the new charging system. The current 400 separate payments will be simplified into three price bands. The lowest will be £15 for an examination and report which was previously £5. The highest charge will be £189, around £200 less than the current top charge.
The middle band charge of £40 will cover one to six fillings which were previously priced at £10 to £12 each. The dentist says that there is little time for preventative work and is confusing. But the authorities say that the new system is designed to be simpler and fairer. But the dentists will be given a guaranteed income based on previous workload, about £80,000 a year for three years.