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Dental Care

Volume 124: debated on Monday 7 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to the statement of the hon. Member for Braintree (Mr. Newton) on primary health care, Official Report, 25 November, columns 259–60, what assumptions he has made about future demand for dental inspection and sight testing in calculating the estimated contribution to be made by 1990–91 by those making payments towards dental care and sight testing.

The estimates of resources to be released by charges for dental examinations and the other changes to dental charges I announced on 25 November do not need to take into account any assumptions about changes in demand for treatment. This is because over a three-year period, dentists' fees, to which all charges will in future be linked, will be adjusted to take account of changes in demand.Similarly, the estimated contribution from optical services is not based on assumptions about the future demand for sight tests by those who will pay privately. It reflects the savings from restricting the availability of National Health Service sight tests to certain groups.