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Turner slams Third World services for kids in pain

Media statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 25 March 2008

Turner slams Third World services for kids in pain

UnitedFuture deputy leader Judy Turner is outraged at the lack of dental treatment a family received in the eastern Bay of Plenty over the Easter holiday weekend.

“What this family received was third world treatment and I want the Minister of Health to find out who was responsible and put a Ministerial bomb under them,” she said.

Mrs Turner says dental services for children in the Eastern Bay of Plenty hit an all time low over the Easter weekend when an eight year old ended up in hospital for treatment to an infected tooth after his parents spent hours trying to find emergency dental services anywhere in the Bay of Plenty region to take him to.

“What they discovered is that such a service doesn't exist and as their son’s condition deteriorated they ended up having to get help from the Accident and Emergency department at Whakatane Hospital for serious pain relief and antibiotics.

“Dental services for children and eligible secondary school students has been problematic for years, with many DHB's failing to find enough dentists to take up contracts to provide treatment services and regular check-ups for secondary students.

“The same applies for primary students with complications that put their treatment beyond the scope of practise of a school dental therapist.

“Several years ago UnitedFuture highlighted the fact that in the Wellington region a Catholic order of nuns was funding a weekend dental service for children run out of a dentist's surgery because children in their area were so badly served by local DHB's.

“All I want to know now is who is going to put their hand up and take responsibility for making sure this incident isn't repeated,” said Mrs Turner.


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