Labour promises free dental check ups if elected
Labour is promising to scrap charges and offer free dental check ups if it wins the next general election.
All band one treatment costs will be dropped under the plans, including check ups, scale and polish and X-rays.
In addition, Labour says it would fund corrections to fillings, dentures and braces, as well as fluoride varnishes and plastic sealants.
The party believes this will cost the NHS £450million a year.
‘This is the first step towards making all dentistry services free of charge,’ Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, said.
‘If we don’t have a dental check and then somewhere down the line we have a catastrophe, a disaster, massive pain, we have to go to A&E and that is then very expensive.’
NHS dentistry funding
The British Dental Association (BDA) has welcomed the move and called on all parties to help improve dental patient access.
Despite patient charge revenue growing in recent years, total funding for NHS dentistry has fallen.
‘When you give patients a reason to avoid check-ups, they bottle up problems and pile huge pressure across our NHS,’ BDA chair, Mick Armstrong, said.
‘Sadly prevention is impossible when families on moderate incomes need to think twice about seeking care.
‘Dentists are health professionals, not tax collectors.
‘These charges are designed to discourage attendance, while providing cover for government cuts.
‘However any plans to boost access must go hand in hand with support for a service facing serious recruitment problems.
‘NHS dentistry isn’t delivered without NHS dentists.’
Labour’s plans for the NHS
The Conservatives say that Labour’s plans would ‘cripple’ the economy, costing the NHS billions.
Labour previously announced it would give the NHS £26billion-a-year in a ‘rescue package’ if it got to power.
The Times reports this dental funding would come on top of any extra funding previously announced for the NHS.
‘It is patients who will pay the price for Corbyn’s incompetence,’ Matt Hancock Health Secretary said.