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Children In Scotland Denied Access To Dental Care

The free dental services rendered to Scotland children, could soon come to an end, warn Dentists, who are unhappy about the allowances, handed out by ministers. // Dental practices in Scotland yield a considerable amount of additional revenue , provided there are enough number of registered NHS patients.

There exists a flaw in the definition of who would be eligible for such extra payments, says the British Dental Association (BDA). This could mean that a lot of dentists would be restricted with respect to their clinical practise, in the future.

Scotland has one of the worst dental records when a child’s dental health is taken into consideration. The level of tooth decay among 5-year olds, in Scotland was 2.76 teeth per child, as revealed by a dental survey conducted in 2003. This is much greater compared to a 1.47 per child in England.

About 66% of all youngsters in Scotland (712, 000) have registered themselves for free dental care under an NHS dentist. The scenario could only get worse, if not better, if children are restricted from access to dental care.

While the Scottish Executive said that it would be unacceptable to deprive children of free dental care access, the Dentist’s argue that they were forced to resort to the step in view of the crisis faced by the dental health service.

According to the latest definition, dentists would be eligible for extra payments only if they have under them at least 500 NHS-registered patients under them, out of which at least a 100 must be adults who pay the NHS for dental services. Pregnant women, children and those on benefits are excluded from NHS payment.

The main focus of this initiative is to attract non-NHS registered patients, who currently pay more for private dental services and encourage them to get registered under the NHS. Currently, there has been an increased tendency for dentists to concentrate on private patients rather than children an
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