Monday, 1 March 2010

NHS: Gnashing Of Teeth

Today I've tried to find an NHS dentist. I've made long calls, waited for robot voices to give me instructions and options. I've punched in various number selections on my phone, tried in vain to speak to a real person. Unlucky old son, the public money that should have provided a tooth service has gone on saving moss, or jobs for health and safety professionals.

Fearing my increasing phone bill would lead to destitution, I turned to the internet. The NHS website invited me to find my nearest NHS dentist, simply by tapping in my postcode. I tried my Cornish address, then my Hampshire address, then I made some up. Wildly, I searched places in Scotland. I might as well have tried Bulgaria, land of ox-carts and picturesque locals wearing national costume for tourists. No NHS dentist to be had.

But even in nearby Camborne, a run-down Cornish town where poor, fat people spend their limited resources on sweets and pork scratchings
, there are private dentists. Under this regime, you cough up huge sums for treatment you might reasonably expect from the NHS, a trade-off from mountains of income-tax paid over many years (except if you live in Camborne). Apart from blackened stumps and the breath of a nauseous canine, that's the only option. There are no NHS dentists in the world. May I have some of my tax back?

No comments: