Dentists (Disposable Syringes)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th July 1966.

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Photo of Mr John Hunt Mr John Hunt , Bromley 12:00 am, 4th July 1966

asked the Minister of Health whether he will now arrange for dentists to be provided with disposable needles and syringes through the National Health Service.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

I am considering, and will be discussing with representatives of the dental profession, whether this is the best means of meeting the need for sterility of equipment used in dental practice.

Photo of Mr John Hunt Mr John Hunt , Bromley

In the meantime, will the Minister bear in mind that it is really an absurd anomaly for doctors to be able to get their needles and syringes through the National Health Service while dentists cannot? Will he please try to put an end to this absurd anomaly?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

It is not an absurd anomaly. After all, the position obtained in both professions until very recently—certainly until after this Government took office—and I do not want to make any changes until I have finished the consultations I am having with the profession about the rather wider question of sterility, which includes this.

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

Is the Minister saying that expenditure on all this sort of equipment, which will make for a better dental service, is not included in the practice expenses element laid down in the new dental regulations which are being laid before Parliament? If he is saying that, can he give an assurance that this is a matter that he will certainly discuss with the profession at the very earliest possible opportunity?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

No, Sir. I am not saying anything of the kind. The precise opposite is the case. The cost of the syringes is part of the practice expenses which are remunerated in full to the profession as a whole.