HC Deb 01 February 1949 vol 460 cc1505-6
40. Mrs. Jean Mann

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that dentists are refusing to relieve patients suffering from toothache, are fixing dates for extractions, and sending patients away until they can enlarge a simple extraction into a general overhaul with an enlarged account for the service; and what steps he will take to impress on dentists the immediate necessity of relieving pain.

Mr. Robertson

Dentists are empowered to give all necessary emergency treatment for the immediate relief of dental pain and I am not aware that they are refusing to do so. If, however, the hon. Member will give me particulars of any cases she has in mind, I shall have inquiries made.

Mrs. Mann

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is not one complaint but a great many complaints and that they are widespread; that it is a practice of dentists to turn patients away or to relieve pain only if they deposit 7s. 6d. or 10s.; that in one case brought to my notice this week the dentist asked for £3 for the extraction and replacement of a tooth; and will he try to arrange hours in the morning or the evening for such extractions to take place?

Mr. Robertson

I should like to have particulars of the cases which my hon. Friend has quoted. We have under consideration at present the possibility of making certain hours available for this purpose.

Mr. John Lewis

Would my hon. Friend be interested to know that I hold a letter from the Operative Cotton Spinners and Twiners Associaton, in my constituency, complaining that one of their members has been treated in precisely the same way; and in view of this will he consult, or ask his right hon. Friend to consult, the Minister of Health with a view to dealing with this matter as soon as possible in both England and Scotland?

Mr. G. Thomas

And Wales.