A leaked government document has revealed that at least a third of dentists are refusing to sign the new controversial NHS contracts. This situation is entirely opposite to what Prime Minister Tony Blair had said when he asserted that 95 percent of dentists have signed up.
"The majority of the dentists are agreeing to the new contract, but it's true some are not... I am pleased to say, however, that I think around about 90 to 95 per cent of them are," Mr Blair had told the Commons. But the grim reality is that many
dentists are not happy with the new points system payments and are refusing to sign up. In the southwest 29 percent have not signed, 23 percent in Yorkshire and 24 percent in Midlands have also refused to ink these agreements. The crisis threatens to envelop dentistry in the UK and leave many with no option, but to seek private care, which is very expensive. "Once again, Mr Blair made a promise about improving people's access to NHS dentistry. Once again, he's been proved wrong," said the shadow health secretary, Andrew Lansley. "Far from improving access to NHS dentistry, the new contract will make it worse, and runs the risk of accelerating the progressive decline in NHS dentistry." A spokesman for the British Dental Association said that the latest figures reflected the level of concern among dentists. One dentists said that he was told he would receive £18,000 this year for 3,000 NHS patients, whereas the treatments will cost more than £150,000.