HC Deb 24 February 1977 vol 926 cc650-1W
Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the cost of providing 10 million courses of dental treatment for children under 15 years of age; and if his forward projections show any decrease in this figure.

Mr. Moyle

In 1975, 7.8 million courses of treatment were provided in England for children under 15 years of age through the general dental services, at a cost of £32.4 million. On that basis, 10 million courses of treatment would cost about £41 million.

The numbers of courses of treatment have, over the years, been growing at a rate unaffected by changes in the under 15 population—from, for example, 5.8 million courses in 1970. While much depends on the effect of the Court Committee proposals I expect the numbers of courses of treatment to continue to rise. The average cost per course of treatment has almost doubled since 1970 and I cannot foresee any possibility of decrease in the future.