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Not a single dentist practice in Swansea or Gower accepting new patients

January 7, 2013 3:45 PM

The Welsh Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has strongly criticised the Welsh Government after figures on the NHS Direct website have revealed that there are no dentist practices in Swansea or Gower that are accepting new NHS patients.

In 2006, the Welsh Labour Government set a 100% target for everyone in Wales to have access to an NHS dentist. Despite the First Minister only last year claiming he stood by this target, the Health Minister has since described it as 'unrealistic' in a written answer to Welsh Liberal Democrats Leader, Kirsty Williams.

The NHS Direct website offers a health advice service that is available to people so they can get up to date information about the NHS services that are on offer in their local area.

Peter Black commented: "It is unbelievable that out of the 40 or so dentists in Swansea and Gower, not a single one is accepting new NHS patients. These figures make a complete mockery out of the Welsh Labour Government's ambition for everyone in Wales to have access to an NHS dentist.

"Time and time again, despite repeated warnings from the Welsh Liberal Democrats, this Welsh Labour Government has completely overlooked the dentistry service in Wales. Just stating that everyone should have access to a dentist isn't enough - there has to be action too. Sadly, Labour's inaction has led to it being almost impossible for substantial numbers of people to get access to a dentist.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrat Dentistry Survey last year highlighted that it is far easier for patients to access private dentists. Labour has presided over a dentistry service that penalises people depending on their income and where they live. Under Labour, dentistry in Wales is a far from universal service."

END

Statistics and waiting times can be found on the NHS Direct website - http://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/localservices/searchlocalservices.aspx?s=Dentist