asked the Minister of Health how many dentists are now operating the general dental service of the National Health Service; and what is the latest estimate of the annual cost of the general dental service.
There were 9,347 dentists on the dental lists in England and Wales on 1st May. The Ministry of Health Estimates, Class V (2), provide £28,204,000 for the cost of the general dental service in England and Wales.
Then how is it that this estimate is so much higher than the original estimate? Why was the original estimate so far out?
I do not quite know to what the hon. Member is referring. If he is referring to the Supplementary Estimate which was debated, I thought that a full answer was given to the satisfaction of the Opposition at that time.