§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what would he the annual cost of abolishing NHS charges presently made for eye and dental checks.
§ Mr. Malone
There is no charge for the provision of national health service sight tests. People who are entitled to NHS tests do not pay anything towards their cost. The fees payable to optometrists and ophthalmic medical practitioners for carrying out these tests are paid by family health services authorities. People not entitled to an NHS sight test pay for a private sight test.
For dental examinations, assuming that the removal of the charge led to no increase in the number of dental examinations, the annual cost, at 1993–94 prices, would be approximately £70 million.