Parliamentarians must help meet oral health challenges APPG hears

06 July 2010

Parliamentarians must confront a number of issues if the oral health challenges facing the nation are to be met, a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry was told this week. Addressing representatives of the dental community and more than 30 MPs and Peers, Newcastle Dental School Dean Professor Jimmy Steele argued that Parliamentarians must achieve the best value for every pound of taxpayers’ money spent, while at the same time guaranteeing the protection of citizens, consumers and patients. But despite these difficult issues they must confront, he also acknowledged that the long-term nature of oral health problems would means that the beneficial effects of their actions would only be seen outside the timescale of a single Parliament.

Professor Steele also reminded those present that Britain’s oral health has been on an upward trajectory for many years and predicted that trend will be shown to have continued by the publication of the Adult Dental Health Survey later in 2010.

The meeting was the second annual summer reception of the APPG for Dentistry. Attendees included Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Earl Howe, shadow health team member Mary Creagh MP and Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP, former Chair of the House of Commons Health Committee. Parliamentarians were joined by representatives of the dental community, which was hosted by Sir Paul Beresford MP, an officer of the group and dental surgeon.

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