January 20, 2004

Waiting to Open Wide

How difficult is it to get a dentist on the NHS? It is bad enough here in Hooterville, where it took a year to get on the list of the only available NHS dentist in the city - man who, frankly, scares me. Not Freddy Kruger scary. More like Jim Carrey scary. A goofy guy and dental drill are an unsettling combination.

In Stonehaven, in the northeast of Scotland, 1,500 people stood for up to 7 hours in the driving rain last weekend for a chance to register with the new dentist in town. The dentist had intended to take on about 300 patients. In the end, the 600 earliest birds got a worm. The rest got turned away, and not all of them took it well. In typical British understatement, some got "quite argumentative."

In the whole of northeast Scotland, there are only two other dental surgeries open to new NHS patients. There no telling how long the wait is to get onto their books, though.

The British are known for bad teeth (the Scots reputely with the worst teeth of all) and this may be part of the reason why.

Posted by david at January 20, 2004 11:41 PM | TrackBack

Gosh, I didn't know there were such things as NHS dentists anymore except for people under 16 or pregnant or whatever.

Posted by: Havdala at January 21, 2004 01:34 PM

Everything thing is free at NHS dentists for those groups - otherwise there are set NHS fees. These tend to be lower than private fees.

Posted by: David Holford at January 21, 2004 09:17 PM

Hopefully a lot cheaper to make up for standing in the rain, especially in Stonehaven!

Posted by: Havdala at January 22, 2004 05:55 PM