Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Doctor shortage in Great Britain: Dentist in dire need

Status: 09.08.2022 04:11 AM

Great Britain suffers from a severe shortage of dentists. Many practices no longer accept even children. In desperation, some patients try to treat themselves – with harsher means.

Von Gabby Bissinger, ARD-Studio London

The British National Health Service (NHS) is completely devastated. The BBC has revealed that nine out of ten dental practices across England are no longer accepting new patients. The result is pain and desperate self-help measures by those who cannot afford private treatment.

Gabby Bissinger

Denise Pyle is having soup for lunch again – what a surprise, she jokes. The Cornwall pensioner really stopped laughing a long time ago: she’s been waiting for artificial teeth for four years. They hardly have molars, at least rodents, but they also stagger, she tells the BBC:

“I can’t cut anything anymore, not even a tomato or a sliced ​​cucumber. It’s all too hard. After working for fifty years and paying taxes, asking just to get a little won’t be too much. ”

Huge wait times or no appointments at all

Dennis Pyle, like many people with pensions and low incomes, cannot pay out-of-pocket for dental care. And dental appointments, subsidized by the NHS and requiring only a small co-payment, have become a rarity.

Research from the BBC shows that nine out of 10 NHS practices across England are not taking new adult patients. Eight out of ten don’t even adopt new babies anymore. And even for the registered patients the waiting time is very high.

The Dental Association complains that many dentists are overburdened and can only treat a certain number of patients with the same rates paid by the NHS.

Sean Charlwood of the British Dental Association has calculated that a state-funded lump sum would only cover half the population.

Many dentists have left

The pandemic has exacerbated the situation due to closed practices and missed check-up appointments. The Department of Health says it has invested an additional £50 million to ease the coronavirus waiting list. But there are not enough doctors here.

In recent years about ten per cent of dentists have withdrawn from NHS practices and only treat privately – also because their complex work is not adequately appreciated by NHS flat rates. But Sean Charlwood believes there’s another reason for the shortage of dentists:

“After the Brexit decision, European dentists left the country for their homeland and did not return. There are thousands of them, and this has made the situation worse.”

Self-healing with Pincers

Joshua Keeling was asked by her partner to pull her teeth with pliers because she could no longer stand the pain. Terrible situation. So they have now started a signature campaign for better care. 180,000 people have already signed up.

But unless something changes, people will continue to work on their teeth with files and pliers and resort to dangerous self-help, explains Lewis Ansari from the organization Healthwatch England:

“People live in pain and fear, they can’t eat or speak properly. And in their desperation, they put synthetic resin plugs on their gums with super glue.”

medical emergency in england

Gabby Bissinger, ARD London, 8/8/2022 8:49 PM

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