In his first PMQs as Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak faced questions on the future of NHS dentistry.
Taking place this afternoon, Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire, called for better processes to allow overseas dentists and doctors to work in the UK.
‘Would my right honourable friend please use this – his first appearance in the dispatch box – to make it clear to the British Medical Council and the British Dental Association that, alongside more training spaces opening up, they must allow more doctors and dentists to work in the UK so that the good people of South Derbyshire can get treatment on the NHS,’ she said.
Sunak insisted that the government is working to improve the registration process for overseas dentists.
‘I’m pleased that there are 3,500 more doctors and over 9,000 more nurses working this year than last,’ he said.
‘But she’s right – we are working to simplify the registration, for dentists in particular, that are not trained here to practise here. That’s how we will help to deliver a long-term workforce plan for the NHS and ensure everyone can get the care they need.’
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Restore the NHS
Yesterday (25 October), Sunak was officially declared the UK’s new Prime Minister following the resignation of Liz Truss.
But what has he said about dentistry over the last few months?
During their leadership battle in August, Rishi said considerably more about dentistry than Liz.
In particular, he promised to ‘restore NHS dentistry’ if he was made Prime Minister. One of his plans included implementing an ‘early intervention’ programme involving checkups in primary schools.
He previously declared that he understands the urgent need to fix the crisis dentistry is facing.
‘I have seven fillings and that’s because I drank an enormous amount of Coke when I was a youngster,’ he said.
‘So, I feel your pain and we do need good dentistry. The NHS is everyone’s number one public service priority.’
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