A disturbing new report for the Green Party, co-authored by Dr Rupert Read, the Greens' candidate in Norwich North, says 70% of dentists in the constituency won't take on new NHS patients. Cllr Read and Stuart Jeffery, Green Party national spokesman on health, say the numbers of people going to the dentist regularly is in decline and the Labour government is failing to provide sufficient investment.
The report highlights:
* that 70% of Norwich North dentists are not currently accepting new NHS patients
* how the fundamental principle that NHS care should be free at point of need is being broken
* figures showing decline in the number of people going to the dentist
* evidence that 8% of adults have resorted to DIY dentistry
* why the Green Party continues to oppose the use of fluoride in water supplies
* that it would cost £531m to fully fund the service at present levels
Rupert Read, who is the Green Party spokesman on public services, says: "The Green Party believes NHS dentistry still awaits a radical overhaul and real investment. Meanwhile, the charges which even NHS patients have to pay amount to a regressive tax which hits the poorest hardest. Our figures indicate that fewer people - including fewer children - are going to the dentist regularly; that can only be storing up trouble for their future. The people of Norwich North and indeed of much of Britain are being let down badly on dentistry - I'd like to start to change that."