Patient flies to Nepal to get five fillings amidst NHS dental crisis

Patient flies to Nepal to get five fillings amidst NHS dental crisisA patient has detailed his decision to jet over to Nepal to fix his dental decay after failing to secure a dental appointment in the UK.

The story  – reported in The Telegraph – is one of many instances of dental tourism to surface in recent months.

It reads: ‘After trying in the UK and failing to get an appointment with the NHS dentist… it seemed a logical option to to have teeth repaired abroad.’

The man flew out to a clinic on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, where he received five fillings – costing a total of £130.

This follows a recent BBC investigation that found nine in 10 NHS practices are not taking on new adult patients.

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NHS crisis

Other findings included:

  • Across England, 91% of NHS practices were not accepting new adult patients (4,933 of 5,416). This rises to 97% in the East Midlands, and 98% in the south west, north west and Yorkshire and the Humber
  • Of those practices not taking on adults in England, 23% (1,124) said they had an open waiting list. Just over 15% (791) said the wait time was a year or longer, or were unable to say how long it would be
  • Out of 152 local authorities in England, BBC researchers did not successfully reach any practices accepting new adult NHS patients in 56 (37%) local authorities
  • In England, 79% of NHS practices were not accepting new child patients (4,293 of 5,416)
  • About 200 practices said they would take on a child under the NHS only if a parent signed up as a private patient.

New research from the Dental Wellness Trust also shows that half of all children in England do not have access to an NHS dentist.

The charity is now urging the government to fund more preventative measures to improve the nation’s oral health.

Around two fifths of children have active untreated tooth decay in primary teeth, with an average of 3.6 affected teeth.

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