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More Dentists for Douglas 25 October 2004

The DHSS has announced further improvement in the availability of NHS dental services through the establishment of additional dental surgeries in the Douglas area. This has provided the opportunity to reduce significantly the number of people who are seeking to register with a NHS dentist.

The Department confirmed that, over the last month, a total of over 5,000 patients had been assigned to a NHS dentist. Details of a further 750 patients have been notified to the Department as wishing to register and these patients will be assigned to a NHS dentist in the next 3-4 weeks. Those patients currently waiting to see a NHS dentist in Ramsey will also be contacted shortly for a NHS appointment.

A recent notification from the Avondale Dental Practice, Onchan, of its intention to limit its NHS service is regretted. However, patients of the practice who have contacted the Department with concerns over future NHS provision will be allocated a NHS dentist at the time of their removal from the Avondale list at the beginning of December. This process will be aided through the establishment of a new NHS General Dental Practice that is planned to open on the outskirts of Douglas at the beginning of December.

Steve Rodan, MHK, Minister for Health and Social Security said:

"I am delighted that the actions taken over the past few months will eliminate the waiting list and, furthermore, will ensure that any patients wishing to receive NHS dental services can be directed to, or allocated, a dentist without undue delay.

"In addition to the measures taken to address the current issue of NHS dental service provision, discussions are continuing to be held with representatives of the dental profession to agree revised contractual arrangements which will secure the future provision of NHS dental services for the Island's population."

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