HC Deb 05 November 1956 vol 558 cc1939-40
31. Mr. V. Yates

asked the Minister of Health how many dentists are still required to meet the country's needs; and, in view of the fact that more students are applying for training than the Birmingham Dental Hospital can accommodate, what action he proposes to take to enable students desirous of becoming dentists to receive the necessary training.

Miss Hornsby-Smith

No exact assessment is possible. Intending dental students who cannot obtain acceptance at Birmingham should seek admission at other schools. The Committee on Recruitment to the Dental Profession made a number of suggestions as to ways in which the accommodation for dental students could be increased. My right hon. Friend hopes that all dental schools will go out of their way during the next few years to find room for all suitable students who apply for admission.

Mr. Yates

As I understand that there are some 8,000 dentists required in this country, is it not rather a tragedy that in Birmingham we should have students anxious to become dentists without any facilities for them to do so in the city? Is that not a tragedy for the country, and cannot some action be taken to remedy the position?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

It is necessary to take into account all the student places available in the several universities which have dental schools. That Birmingham happens to be popular and has a much greater demand on its accommodation than it can meet does not mean that there are not places available in other dental schools.