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A child’s dentist visit hurts wallet

Readers' Letters | Published:

MY GRANDDAUGHTER needs a brace to straighten her front teeth, which the dentist says will cost £3,500 to £4,000. Surely this is excessive?

Generally, dentistry is very expensive in Guernsey and I think the public would like to see it included in our health scheme as it is in the NHS. What does Deputy Soulsby think?

Editor’s footnote: Deputy Soulsby, president of the Committee for Health & Social Care, replies:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reply to your reader. To provide some background, the Children’s Dental Service at the PEH currently provides a dedicated dental service for pre-school and school-age children but only those with particular needs such as ‘looked after’ children and children aged up to 12 with specific dental health needs, such as active decay into dentine and acute gum problems. This service replaced the ‘School Dental Service’ many years ago.

Free orthodontic treatment is only available for children with severe dental health problems and who are referred before their 15th birthday.

While I understand how expensive dental treatment can be, HSC currently has no influence over dentistry costs, which are a matter for the dental practices themselves. However, our new model of health and care, the Partnership of Purpose, is very much centred on fair access that will ensure a lower than average income is not a barrier to accessing health and social care. As part of our Partnership of Purpose work, and the transformation of health and care services, we are developing a universal offer. This is all about giving islanders clarity over the range of services they can expect to receive and the criteria for accessing them. As part of this, we are reviewing which services should be free, subsidised or self-funded.

Di Lihou

By Di Lihou
Editorial assistant

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