Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd July 1959.
asked the Minister of Education what action he is taking to improve the school dental service.
The main difficulty is the shortage of dentists. This is part of the wider problem of the supply of dentists which was reported on by the McNair Committee and is at present the subject of consultations between the Ministry of Health and the other Departments concerned.
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that half the school population of 7 million children have not had their teeth examined at all in the last year for which figures are available? Two out of three of those who were examined needed dental treatment. Does not this mean that about 2 million children ought to have dental treatment but are not getting it? Is not this a serious state of affairs?
I quite agree with the hon. Gentleman. My right hon. Friend is satisfied that local education authorities as a whole are doing their best to attract more dentists into the school dental service and to make the best use of those who are already employed. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we are not complacent in the least about this matter.