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Bradford South MP Judith Cummins presses the Government to tackle chronic dentist’ shortage in Bradford

Bradford South MP Judith Cummins presses the Government to tackle chronic dentist’ shortage in Bradford

During a recent House of Commons’ debate, Judith pressed Government’ Health Ministers to stop dragging their feet and get on with tackling the shortage of dentists in Bradford.

Sparked by vocal demand across the House of Commons, MPs debated the widespread health inequalities faced by communities across the UK including a number across Bradford. Judith seized the opportunity to intensify her attack on the Government to get on with tackling the desperate shortage of dentists faced by her constituents in Bradford. During the debate, Judith chose to highlight the especially cruel toll that the city’s shortage of dentists is having on Bradford’s children. Fellow MPs were shocked to hear official figures shared by Judith when she said ” 5-year-old children within Bradford, my home city, are 4.5 times more likely to suffer from tooth decay than their peers in Jeremy Hunt’s constituency.”

MPs heard that the Government hopes to improve dentist availability from 2018/19 onwards, through the roll out of a reformed NHS dental contract. These reforms would incentivise dentists to open up in places like Bradford, but many including Judith believe that the timetable simply isn’t fast enough.  At a time of NHS shortages, Judith stressed the financial cost alongside the health cost of these shortages by underlining that  “tooth decay is a… preventable disease. It is a scandal, without exaggeration, that the number one reason for children between the ages of 5 and 9 being admitted to hospital is tooth decay. It is a scandal … not only because it causes our children needless pain and suffering, but in this time of austerity, it wastes countless millions in NHS resources…”

After the debate, Judith said ” Government’ Health Ministers should stop dragging their feet and get on with tackling the shortage of dentists in Bradford. Warm words from Government is no longer good enough, the city needs action now. I will continue to fight tooth and nail. It is beyond unacceptable, that 5-year-old children in Bradford, my home city, are 4.5 times more likely to suffer from tooth decay than children of the same age in Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary’s, constituency.

UK Labour Party