HC Deb 23 February 1989 vol 147 c792W
Ms. Richardson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much he expects to receive from charges for(a) dental check-ups and (b) eye tests in 1989–90; and by how much he estimates expenditure on dental and eye health will change as a result of the introduction of such tests.

Mr. Mellor

The estimated income from dental examination charges in England in 1989–90 is £35 million. It is not anticipated that the introduction of dental examination charges will have any direct effect on the forecast level of gross NHS expenditure on the general dental services.

There are no charges for sight tests. The effect of the Health and Medicines Act, 1988, is that from 1 April 1989 the NHS sight test will no longer be universally available; it will be restricted to certain priority groups of people, including children, the registered blind and partially sighted, people on low incomes and diabetics. Savings on family practitioner service spending from the restriction of the NHS sight test to certain priority groups are expected to be £70 million in a full year in England. The new arrangements are not expected to affect demand for eye care.

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