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Does england have 'free' dental care?

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  • Does england have 'free' dental care?

    My mother and I were discussing a little politics and she told me that England has free dental care for it's citizens. Is this true?

  • #2
    Many elements of dental care (but not all) are free under the UK's National Health Service (NHS), to which everyone is entitled.

    However, the NHS suffers from funding problems (amongst others), so many dentists have started to opt out of the NHS and only offer their services to private customers, who naturally have to pay for the privilege. So finding an NHS dentist has become something of a nightmare recently, and those that are still part of the NHS are seldom able to take on new patients, so busy have they become. When an new NHS dentist opened in my neighbourhood recently, people were queueing halfway around the block within minutes of him opening, just for a chance to get signed up as a patient.

    (The same is slowly starting to happen with NHS doctors. More and more are opting out of the NHS to go into provate practice, as the rewards, conditions and freedom of practice and policy are much greater in the private sector. Something of a slippery slope...)
    The name that can be named is not the true name.

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    • #3
      Everything Kamelion says is correct. Furthermore, dental care is only free for children, students, people in receipt of certain benefits and (I think) old age pensioners. Everybody else has to pay charges, although the charges are reduced compared to private dental care.

      Unfortunately, the government subsidies that dentists get go nowhere near covering the difference betwen the price of private and NHS work.

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      • #4
        In a word, for most people, no. It might have been true in 1948 when the National Health Service was set up but certainly not during my lifetime (unless you fall into one of the categories John mentions). Even a checkup - ie an examination with no treatment - costs about £20 these days.

        Dentists: the only people we pay to cause us pain.
        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by David Mosley

          Dentists: the only people we pay to cause us pain.
          Ain't that the truth. (Visions of Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors) I refer to them as torture sessions. Haven't yet been to one I felt remotely comfortable with- one even made me pass out with his incessant talking and nervous manner...
          Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.
          -Yousuf Karsh

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          • #6
            When was living in Holland and working at the UN war crimes tribunal, I had a dentist who gave intravenous valium sedations - all paid for by the UN's private health company. I've never looked forward to dental treatment so much in my life ...
            The name that can be named is not the true name.

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            • #7
              In France a good dentist :

              - does not cause pain

              - is attentive to your toothh brushing

              - gives you preventive care

              Dentistry is expensive and not fully covered by the public system of insurance. ( securité sociale - social security )

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              • #8
                Slightly bemused by the fact that dentists/doctors/nurses have their training funded at the expense of taxpayers, only for some of them to jump ship and join the private sector and line their pockets. But this level of creeping privatisation has been on the go for years in the NHS. Shame...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dreamweaver
                  Slightly bemused by the fact that dentists/doctors/nurses have their training funded at the expense of taxpayers, only for some of them to jump ship and join the private sector and line their pockets.
                  Following that logic, anybody who has received state education at any point in their lives should be forced to work in the public sector.

                  Dentists/doctors/nurses are used as a source of cheap skilled labour during their training and then go on to pay taxes at a higher rate than they probably would have done otherwise throughout their careers.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by johneffay
                    Following that logic, anybody who has received state education at any point in their lives should be forced to work in the public sector.

                    Dentists/doctors/nurses are used as a source of cheap skilled labour during their training and then go on to pay taxes at a higher rate than they probably would have done otherwise throughout their careers.
                    Wait, in a limited sense you might be on to something, I'm thinking that the more money and power that you derive via the public...hmmm, heads of state...maybe the Aztecs had it right!
                    "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Talisant
                      Wait, in a limited sense you might be on to something, I'm thinking that the more money and power that you derive via the public...hmmm, heads of state...maybe the Aztecs had it right!
                      I doubt the Aztecs did? Since they where a waning society.

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                      • #12
                        I was thinking more along the lines of the likes of Bupa poaching nurses away to the private sector.

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