HC Deb 09 December 1963 vol 686 cc8-9
16. Mr. Lubbock

asked the Minister of Health if he will seek power to assume complete responsibility for dental health education throughout England and Wales.

Mr. Barber

No, Sir.

Mr. Lubbock

If dental health education is a valuable means of ensuring that the public generally, and young people particularly, clean their teeth regularly and go to the dentist at fixed intervals, surely this ought to be a national responsibility? Are not we running into danger that, by placing the onus on local health authorities, there will be tremendous variations over different regions and that dental health will suffer in consequence?

Mr. Barber

I agree with the hon. Gentleman about the importance of education in this respect, but I do not think that it would be right to exclude local health authorities and other bodies from this field. As some hon. Members will know, there has been a review of dental health education by the Joint Committee on Health Education, and I hope that it will not be too long before I receive its Report. Then I will consider all these matters.

Mr. Rankin

Would it not be better to follow the suggestion of the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) rather than poisoning our drinking water with sodium fluoride at £100 a ton?