Monday, January 21, 2008

UK's National Health Care=Third World Dental Care

From the UK Telegraph "Bad Teeth - The New British Disease":

In Britain today, you can stuff yourself on deep-fried Mars bars, drink 20 pints of beer a night, inject yourself with heroin, smoke 60 cigarettes a day or decide to change your sex — and the National Health Service (NHS) has an obligation to treat you. You might go on a waiting list, but it will do its best to cure your lung cancer, patch up your nose after a drunken brawl or give you a hip replacement.

But if you have bad teeth, forget it. You may be rolling on the bathroom floor in agony with an abscess, your gums may be riddled with disease, or people may recoil at the sight of your fangs as you walk down the street, but the NHS doesn't have to help you.

It is now virtually impossible for many people to find an NHS dentist, and if they do manage to squeeze on to a list, they could still be charged 80% of the cost of treatment. A recent survey found that seven and a half million Britons have failed to gain access to an NHS dentist in the past two years (UK population = 60 million). In one quarter of the country, no NHS dentists are allowing new patients to join their lists. And despite government targets that every child should have his teeth seen by an expert every year, more than one in three children never see an NHS dentist.

Now because of our first-world diets and third-world dental care, we have 19th-century teeth.

According to today's related
IBD editorial "Like so many British teeth, national health care systems are rotten." (Note: The IBD editorial mistakenly reported that "2.7 million Britons have gone nearly two years without dental work. It should be 7.2 million.)

Here's another article "
7 million patients can't find a dentist."


At 1/21/2008 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark you failed to note that the UK has a mix of private and public NHS dentists and indeed private dental insurance providers.

To call dentistry in the UK socialized is wrong and misleading.

At 1/21/2008 11:07 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

OK, I've changed the title.

At 1/21/2008 11:20 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

From Wikipedia:

"The National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly funded health care system of England; it is a separate system from the other three national health systems operating in the United Kingdom which are responsible to their own devolved governments and have developed under differing legislation resulting in a variation of management and practice. All four services operate co-operatively without general discrimination toward citizens from each others' areas.

The NHS provides the majority of healthcare in England, including primary care (such as general practitioners), in-patient care, long-term healthcare, ophthalmology and dentistry (NHS dentistry is done by dentists in private practice doing sub-contracted work for the NHS). The National Health Service Act 1946 came into effect on 5 July 1948. Private health care has continued parallel to the NHS, paid for largely by private insurance, but it is used only by a small percentage of the population, and generally as a top-up to NHS services.

The large majority of NHS services are provided free at the point of use to the patient and without further charge for in-hospital treatment and associated medication; other medicine might involve the prescription fee described below. The costs of running the NHS (est. £104 billion in 2007-8 are met directly from general taxation."

Bottom Line: That sure seems like socialized medicine to me.

To Anon: How does that differ from "socialized medicine."

At 1/21/2008 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark private health care and private dental care is widely available in the U.K.

Mark, how is that anything like "socialized medicine?"

The NHS dental care system doesn't seem to be "free" either as shown by this comparative list of fees charged by private and NHS dentists.

Please take note that the character played by Mike Meyers (a Canadian by the way) is meant to be a circa mid 1960s caricature and not representative of British teeth today.

What data do you have that can support your allegation that UK's National Health Care = Third World Dental Care" when people are free to take on private dental insurance and/or go to a private dentist?

Doesn't the existence of socialized medicine or dentistry absolutely depend upon having the only care available be the care provided through the state?

It sure looks like private health care and private health care insurance are available to everyone in the U.K. that wants it.

At 1/30/2008 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay this NHS stuff scares me. My wife placed here own shingle out on a practice several months ago, and we are still bleeding red. She is a highly trained specialist, and has one top awards national and international competitions. Sitting on top of $130K of student loans and an unbelievable amount of leverage used directly for the practice, declaring bankruptcy would be our only option if the rules of the game we bought into were to change.

Anonymous just doesn’t see the implications of the government destroying the equilibrium competition naturally sets. Sure, as a dentist you can opt out of NHS, but your market is still affected by government control.

At 2/03/2008 2:19 PM, Blogger Dental-Offer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2/03/2008 2:26 PM, Blogger Dental-Offer said...

Of course there is private health care and insurances, but see who can afford it? Mainly driven by clinic labour overheads and insurance contracts, access to private health care has got a limited audience and leads the rest to the NHS. The state does its best (well, arguable) in providing some sort of basic care in all means, but fails to organize it better.

What really concerns me is the lack of patient education done by the average dentist. To me it seems as a matter of simplicity a tooth is easier to pull rather than to preserve it for a little higher cost. A few years later one wonders why further problems arise and maybe more teeth will be pulled; and now one can say good bye to a proper bite.

Being involved in dental care I have to face such situations every day and for me this is where the problems start: You look at a client who needs a root canal on a front tooth but has no molars; hence how does s/he actually chew?! Whenever I ask if their dentist has told them to close those gaps to restore functionality I get plain advertising space on their faces. So why is that? Does a dentist in the UK may think it not worth telling them as a three element bridge for instance may be out of the patients' financial reach?

I really feel that there is a lack of education done by dentists as well as the government.

And now one wonders why dental care outside the country becomes popular amongst the UK?

just my two cents worth,


World Class Affordable Dental Care

At 11/30/2009 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who ever wrote this is an idiot and doesnt know anything about british health care

if you want plastic surgery such as sex change then you PAY FOR IT YOUR SELF, NHS only deals with things that affect your health AND YOU DONT WAIT ON A LIST FOR 10 WEEKS LIKE the US media makes it out to be

we do not pay 80% of money for dental treatment on nhs, its about 50%

At 2/21/2010 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Americans are always carrying on about the medical care in other countries and HAVE to go out of their way to try and prove that their system is better. Well, millions of people cant afford dentists in USA, and millions cant even afford a simple GP visit. I know, i had to go to one over there and it cost me $220 for a 8 min consult!!!!!! The antibiotics were $90. I know people who pull out their own teeth in America. I'm in Australia and our dental system is not perfect but we can get in to the dental hospital very quickly in an emergency. Our dental system is about to be upgraded soon as well to make it equal to our medicare system. This is just the usual yank crap, everywhere else in the world outside USA is substandard they say. Well, Mark, people in our countries dont get refused treatment ( and left in agony in Er waiting rooms) when they have no money or ousted out in the street when their 'insurance' or money runs out!!!!!!!!! This is the most appalling unchristian behaviour from a country which espouses it is the strongest christian country in the world.Also, we have a CHOICE if we want to take out insurance or not, we will still have medical care if it happens that at times we cant afford it.

At 4/12/2010 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous Said....I couldn't agree with you more! I am British living in the US and you my Dear are absolutley right in your assumptions. No the NHS is not perfect, no one said is was, but it is still a sight better than the USA! I have Juvenile Type I diabetes, was diagnosed in the UK as a child, received excellent health care until moving to the US as an adult, were I found I could not afford private insurance and had little to no options. So for years I have paid out of pocket for everything, as it has still been cheaper than trying to get coverage. Thank God I have not had any major issues, for I can assure you, my ass would be on a plane back to the UK if I did!!! I would rather wait on a waiting list than be denied because of a pre-exisiting condition that was out of my control to prevent!!! American's are also very uneducated as to their elements!!! Lets just say, when people find out that I am diabetic, envaribly the first thing they comment on is my size!!! No I do not weigh 300lbs, I am a Type I diabetic, not an self-inflicted type II, over weight, body can't keep up with insulin production in comparison to food intact, etc, type diabetic. Get the picture!!! Regardless, the fact is, the people that need coverage the most, can't get it in the, oh so good old US of A.... And for the record, I have dual Nationality, have lived extensively in both the UK and US and can assure you, land of the free is anything but free....and not just financially speaking!!! Here's a thought for all of you NHS bashers out there, pay your high monthly health insurancee costs so that you have coverage when needed, good, this gives you piece of mind, but do you ever stop to wonder were does that money go, where do the insurance companies stash that cash??? And who is banking the interest on your cash??? The cash you may or may not ever utilize on a policy you may or may not ever claim against????


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