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Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government are taking to ensure that people on low incomes have access to free dental health care. (94054)

Under the dental reforms introduced in England on 1 April 2006, those on low incomes remain exempt from national health service charges. The reforms are designed to support primary care trusts (PCTs) in improving access to NHS dental services. The Government have increased investment in primary care dentistry by over £400 million since 2003-04. PCTs now have greater flexibility to use resources to meet the needs of their local populations. For the first time, PCTs also retain resources locally when a dentist ceases to provide NHS services and use these resources to commission services from other dentists. The overall level of services being commissioned by PCTs is now higher than in 2005-06.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists have been brought to the attention of the General Dental Council in the last two years, broken down by country in which they graduated for their initial dental degree. (96143)