HC Deb 13 February 1967 vol 741 cc81-2
8 and 9. Mr. Hugh Jenkins

asked the Minister of Health (1) if he is aware that most dentists in Putney refuse to supply dentures under the National Health Service; and if he will publish the names of those who do so provide them;

(2) if he will take steps to ensure that constituents of the hon. Member for Wandsworth, Putney, are enabled to obtain dentures where necessary under the National Health Service without having to travel outside the constituency to do so.

Mr. K. Robinson

I regret that some dentists in Putney are unwilling to provide full dentures under the National Health Service and that patients may have to go to adjoining areas. I am sending my hon. Friend a list of dentists in Putney and neighbourhood who are willing to provide full dentures under the National Health Service.

Mr. Jenkins

Is this not a generally unsatisfactory situation? Is not the problem of Putney characteristic of various other parts of the country? Is not the general position that people are now unable to obtain full dentures under the National Health Service over wide areas of the country, and in my constituency in particular?

Mr. Robinson

I do not think that it is typical of the country as a whole. Experience shows that complaints of this kind come mainly from London and the Home Counties. The only real solution to the problem is to increase the supply of dentists, and the current expansion of dental schools should help to achieve this over the next few years.

Mr. Iremonger

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind his Answer to this Question in connection with the representation of his hon. Friend when he answers Question No. 15?

Mr. Robinson

We had better await Question No. 15.

Mr. Shinwell

If dentists in this part of the country or elsewhere refuse to supply full dentures, ought not they to be excluded from the National Health Service?

Mr. Robinson

No, Sir. Dentists are not obliged to accept patients for treatment under the Service, and I have no power to compel them to do so.