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Dental Charges

Volume 129: debated on Friday 18 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received from the General Dental Practitioners' Association in respect of the proposal to levy a charge for dental examinations; what his response has been; and if he will make a statement.

I received a letter from the General Dental Practitioners' Association dated 20 January which expressed the association's opposition to our proposals concerning charges for dental examinations. In my response, as with the similar representations I have received, I expressed the view that it is reasonable for patients who can afford it to make a contribution towards the cost of the dental examination of less than £3 at today's prices. Moreover, I pointed out that we were retaining all current exemptions from dental charges, and that therefore the charge could not be expected to have any significant deterrent effect.