Growing inequality in dental treatment must be tackled” Cameron

Vice Chair of the Health Committee Pam Cameron MLA has expressed her deep concern at the latest figures from the British Dental Association, which highlights a growing inequality in dental treatment across Northern Ireland

By Pam Cameron MLA

South Antrim

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The South Antrim MLA said only by having a plan in place, could we put dentistry on a stable footing and deliver better health outcomes for all of our people.

Mrs Cameron said.

“Northern Ireland is at the bottom of the UK league table for oral disease and this inequality is impacting hugely upon our most deprived communities.

Children in our most deprived communities are the least likely to be registered with a dentist, with figures from the British Dental Association showing up to 37% of these young people are not getting the treatment that they need.

Children here are three times more likely to have multiple teeth extracted under General Anaesthetic in comparison to children in England.

The difficulty experienced by many when trying to register as a new patient, combined with the need to put dentistry on a stable and sustainable footing, means action is required.

The pandemic has only served to increase this disparity and grow inequality with the prioritisation of a limited number of appointments given to private patients, disproportionately impacting those who cannot afford private treatment.

This inequality must be tackled and this disparity brought to an end, so that we can deliver better health outcomes for all of our people.

The DUP has a plan to achieve this, a plan to fix our health service and a plan to drive down waiting lists to ensure everyone has access to treatment in their time of need.”

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