Mon Oct 15, 7:19 AM ET
English 'pull own teeth' As Dental Service Decays
LONDON (AFP) - Falling numbers of state dentists in England has led to some people taking extreme measures, including extracting their own teeth, according to a new study released Monday.
Falling numbers of state dentists in England has led to some people taking extreme measures, including extracting their own teeth, according to a new study released Monday.
Others have used superglue to stick crowns back on, rather than stumping up for private treatment, said the study. One person spoke of carrying out 14 separate extractions on himself with pliers.
More typically, a lack of publicly-funded dentists means that growing numbers go private: 78 percent of private patients said they were there because they could not find a National Health Service (NHS) dentist, and only 15 percent because of better treatment.
"This is an uncomfortable read for all of us, and poses serious questions to politicians from patients," said Sharon Grant of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health.
Overall, six percent of patients had resorted to self-treatment, according to the survey of 5,000 patients in England, which found that one in five had decided against dental work because of the cost.
One researcher involved in compiling the study -- carried out by members of England's Patient and Public Involvement Forums -- came across three people in one morning who had pulled out teeth themselves.
Dentists are also concerned about the trend.
Fifty-eight percent said new dentists' contracts introduced last year had made the quality of care worse, while 84 percent thought they had failed to make it easier for patients to find care.
Almost half of all dentists -- 45 percent -- said they no longer take NHS patients, while 41 percent said they had an "excessive" workload. Twenty-nine percent said their clinic had problems recruiting or retaining dentists.
"These findings indicate that the NHS dental system is letting many patients down very badly," said Grant.
"It appears many are being forced to go private because they don't want to lose their current trusted and respected dentist or because they just can't find a local NHS dentist."
(That was the entire article from Agence France Press.)
Now doesn't that sound like something you want to be part of?
Don't you REALLY want a government-run US health care system that is so poor that although you can eventually get your tooth fixed for free, it takes so long because of there being that many people in line in front of you that you pay through the nose anyway to a private doctor just to get relief?
This is absolutely the tip of the iceberg.
People who like the idea of government run health care need to remember that they would then have their medical needs met with the same "efficiency" as when they go to get their driver's license renewed, or get a new tag for their vehicle, or when they have to make a Social Security claim, or when they have to try to rectify a situation the the Internal Revenue Service.
The fact is, that to get really good, quick health care in these countries that have already instituted government run health care, the citizens not only pay the horrific taxes to attempt to support these systems, they also have to go ahead and pay out of their own pockets to see a private doctor anyway.
Strong national security, especially clamping down our borders to the point that ONLY legal immigrants can get into the US, and NOT trying to pass a socialist style, government run health care system are two of the main reasons I will be voting for whomever runs against Hillary/Obama or Al Gore.
The folks in the UK, Canada, France, etc. might truly prefer the health care systems of those countries, and I know our system is very flawed, but asking someone as inefficient as the US Government to run and control health care is a much scarier proposition in my mind.