Dentistry waiting list ‘shocking’, says GSD
The GSD said it is “shocking” that more than 1,700 children are awaiting their first dental check-ups in the GHA.
On Friday the Gibraltar Government told GBC that the pandemic had decimated dentistry globally with backlogs caused by the cancellation of routine appointments, adding that there was a need to prioritise those patients, working within Public Health recommendations.
The GHA said the dentistry service is at capacity with appointments being offered to those who are most needy, as well as daily spaces for emergencies, including weekends and bank holidays.
Those who require treatments, such as fillings, will take priority over others requesting routine check-ups.
The Government also told the GBC that there are currently six dentists available, with one vacancy for a consultant orthodontist and six dental nurses.
“The early answer to a parliamentary question whilst highly irregular demonstrates a clear and inexcusable delay in the provision of dental care to our children,” the GSD said in a statement.
“The statistic that over 1,700 children are awaiting a first check-up is shocking and an indictment of the Government's handling of their health restoration policy.”
“The Minister for Health must pull his head out of the sand and immediately set out in detail how we have arrived at a crisis point within dental health provision and more importantly, what the Government will do about remedying this most urgent issue.”
Shadow Minister for Health, Elliott Phillips, said the GSD has frequently raised the three-year delay in the provision of dental appointments for children and as recently as March 2, where the GSD expressed serious concern about the “lack of provision of this vital service.”
“I have heard every excuse under the sun, and it is simply not good enough,” Mr Phillips said.
“The taxpayer allocates over £140 million a year to health and care services and it is simply unacceptable in this day and age for dental services to be suspended.”