Last march, the NHS announced that there will be an increase of 5% in dental treatment fees. While it is not a protest-inducing hike, the decision met criticism from dentists themselves. It was actually the surprising part of development, as dentists urged patients to choose private treatment. It is not exactly a for-profit decision because people do have to wait long for their NHS dental treatments.
Nonetheless, it shows that dentists do care for people’s oral health. NHS treatments are not the best business choice for any dentist providing NHS services, but it did not stop them from pointing out the major consequence of the hike: scaring people from getting proper dental care. Many of them already forget or completely forego visits to the dentist, and this would just give the people more reasons to not go.
It Happened Before
Henrik Overgaard Nielsen, the head of the British Dental Association, says that a hike like this happened in 1951. Though back then, the NHS’ intent was clear: to stem the amount of people who demanded NHS dental treatments. It is not yet clear why the organisation implemented the hike, but the effect is nonetheless evident.
The assessment of the announcement has been negative ever since. From being a purely political move to another way to burden people with more taxes, people have called this price increase all sorts of things. In the end, everyone is just hoping that in some way, the NHS will be able to justify the hike. Many are calling for a revamp in the system, something that also keeps people from getting treatment.
Hoping for the Best
While the treatments will become a little costlier, NHS dental treatments remain to the best low-cost option from Edinburgh to Slough. Moonlight.co.uk and other NHS dentists believe that the range of the plans is still enough to cover most dental needs. The NHS has hurt themselves with this change, but the brunt of the consequence will still fall on the people.
If there is any redeeming aspect of the increase, it is that the NHS will have no more reason to stagnate. Funds will flow and they will have greater ability to provide more and to more people. The hope is that they actually go through with this.
This will never go down well with the British if they are to retain the same services. Improvements must come, and more importantly, it should benefit both dentists and patients.