HC Deb 23 July 1962 vol 663 c948
37. Sir B. Janner

asked the Minister of Health whether he will make a statement on the present shortage of dental services in the country, and on the steps he proposes to take to meet the situation.

Mr. Powell

The volume of dental treatments given continues to rise rapidly. This rise should continue as the number of dentists qualifying continues to increase.

Sir B. Janner

Is the Minister aware that there is still a very considerable shortage and that according to the arrangements he has made at present it will take seven years before sufficient dental surgeons will be available? Is he aware that there is considerable disappointment in regard to the arrangement being made for the payment of dentists and that the more they organise their practices the less they receive per person? Will the right hon. Gentleman say that he will look into the whole matter again to see what can be done?

Mr. Powell

I do not accept the implication of what the hon. Member has said about pay. What I am aware of is that whatever the shortage may be it is being overtaken at a great rate. The rate of treatment rose by 15 per cent. in the last two years and the numbers of dentists qualifying toy 30 per cent. in the last four years.