§ 10. Mr. Chapman
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the shortage of dentists in the rapidly growing area of South-West Birmingham; what numbers of dentists exist there per 10,000 of the population compared with other areas; and what prospects there are of improvement in the situation.
§ Mr. R. Thompson
My right hon. and learned Friend is aware that there is a shortage of dentists in many parts of the country. Separate figures for South-West Birmingham are not available, but in Birmingham as a whole there are approximately two dentists per 10,000 population compared with 1.6 in the Midland region generally and 2.4 in England and Wales.
An increase of the facilities for training dentists is under way including, in Birmingham, a considerable expansion of the dental school and a new dental hospital, but it will necessarily be some time before it leads to an improvement in the supply of dentists.