Friday, 25 May 2018

No room at the dentists inn - unless you pay

We already have a reduced A&E service at Chorley hospital. Rationing of healthcare seems to be flavour of the day, including dentistry! 

{My Story}
Today I had a look online to check the availability of NHS dentists in the local area. My spouse and I called in a local dentist & asked if we might register as  NHS patients. What happened next was shocking....

"we're not accepting any new NHS customers, only private", said the receptionist. I noted the word 'customer' then looked round noting the large waiting room was empty. So I said "but the place is empty, are you saying there are places available but only to private patients?"

The receptionist replied "yes, but there are reasonable plans available for example £55.00 for a first 45 minute consultation with any further payments made monthly".
The pre-rehearsed line about financial costs seemed to roll off the receptionists tongue as if by rote. 
I noted the receptionist shifting in the chair as if anticipating what I was about to say. Rather than debate the blatant discrimination of turning away those NHS 'customers' who can't afford to pay (twice) I simply said...

"We do pay. We pay into a collective system for dentistry called the National Health Service. It's a system where everyone supports each other in times of need. It's a system that does not discriminate or turn people away who, for whatever reason, cannot afford to pay".

"If I was to pay privately, I'd be going against the principles of a universal healthcare system I love. I'd be pushing out other NHS 'patients' resulting in this dentist treating only those who can pay privately. It would no longer be 'taking on NHS customers".

So as you can see folks, I had no means to pay as a private 'customer', and for this reason only, I was refused treatment and shown the door.

When we got home I decided to look again at the website of the dentist I'd just visited. But this time a little closer, and one sentence stood out highlighting the hypocracy of my experience. The sentence was...

"our practice caters for all"

Ironically, the dentist is called {My Dentist} on Dole Lane, Chorley.

The  {My Dentist} website then shows a list of NHS treatments and costs, with a band 3 crown costing the NHS 'customer' £256.50.

Our NHS is the best, safest and most affordable healthcare system in the advanced world. Yet slowly but surely it is being eroded and converted into a private payment system where those who can pay will, and those who can't are either shown the door, asked to setup a payment plan, or go without.

Related Links

Half of NHS dental practices are not accepting new adult NHS patients

No comments:

Post a Comment