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Hospital Dental Care In Dire Straits

25 January 2005

Hospital Dental Care In Dire Straits

New Zealand First health spokesperson Barbara Stewart has described the latest report of a toddler with rotting teeth waiting for up to five months for them to be removed under a general anaesthetic as part of a nationwide dental scandal.

“The toddler in question comes under the auspices of the Canterbury District Health Board, which has a six month waiting list.

“In Wellington last year the waiting list for dental work on children needing general anaesthetic was up to one year and the situation is little better in other areas,” said Mrs Stewart.

“General anaesthesia for dental care is also necessary for special needs children and their plight is even worse because many of them have limited ability to communicate.

“It is to be hoped that the Minister soon finds a solution for this problem because the current situation is more representative of a third world country than a developed one,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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