A RECENT programme to recruit more dentists to the island will see candidates being interviewed later this month.
Health Minister David Anderson said progress was being made in reducing waiting lists for NHS dentists. The problem, he said, was a reflection of the situation in the UK where there had been a failure to train the necessary numbers of dentists.
Mr Anderson said: ‘The Department has worked diligently to try and resolve the recruitment difficulties facing the Island’s Salaried Dental Service.
‘It is hoped the most recent recruitment campaign will help alleviate the problem and restore capacity in the system for routine check-ups.
‘In the meantime however, by having negotiated additional working hours with the dental practitioners, the Department will be able to commence offering routine check-ups in the near future.
‘I welcome these developments which are clearly steps in the right direction; and I would like to thank the public for their patience whilst the Department continues its work to address the difficult issues of recruitment in what is a very competitive job market.’
The shortage of dentists resulted in the suspension of routine check-ups in mid-January. New plans are now in place for existing staff to work extended hours. The additional sessions will be reserved for patients who have requested check-up appointments, with priority being given to those patients who have waited longest.
Staff will be in touch with patients individually, to make an appointment and for those who require any follow up treatment.
Last October everyone on the NHS dental waiting list at that time was invited for a dental check up with a dentist at the Community Health Centre Dental Clinic in Douglas. This was completed in late February and the purpose was to decide patients’ priority for treatment. It also gave up-to-date information on the number of people still wanting an NHS dentist, where in some instances people had opted for private treatment.
Urgent cases were then allocated an NHS dentist, or will receive one soon, and receive treatment.
Options available to allocate a dentist to those patients needing non-urgent treatment and those who currently need no treatment are currently being considered.
In the meantime, three locum dentists are being employed by the department to address the backlog of patients.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
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Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
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