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Labour presides over worsening dental crisis

Labour presides over worsening dental crisis

National Party Health spokesman Paul Hutchison says Labour’s failure to offer a fair and realistic special dental benefits contract has resulted in its rejection by Southland dentists, and that is likely to spread throughout the country.

“Labour expects dentists to cover for its failing school dental system and yet pays them less than 50% of the average private fee,” says Dr Hutchison.

“Costs run at 65% of the average fee and dentists can’t break even.

“Health Minister Annette King has had almost six years and has spent $3.5 billion extra on health, meanwhile school dental clinics around the country have become unsafe and children’s teeth are literally rotting.

“School dental nurses do a great job but it is hugely important that they collaborate closely with dentists who can carry out more complicated work.

“It seems as though Ms King is prejudiced against private health providers such as dentists, and refuses to pay them reasonable compensation for their expertise.

“Dentists very much want to help curb the child dental crisis, but they can’t be expected to continually lose money as Ms King would have them do,” says Dr Hutchison.


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