Ruffley Launches Petition: "We Need More NHS Dentists"

Friday, 14 May, 2004

The Central Suffolk PCT area- which includes Stowmarket and Needham Market - has been shown to be the fifth worst area in the whole of the United Kingdom for access to NHS dentists. New research says that there is just one dentist for every 5,000 people in central Suffolk.

David said: 'The situation we now have in Mid Suffolk is simply unacceptable. These latest figures are an absolute disgrace. It means that people in Stowmarket and Needham Market have to travel great distances to find an NHS dentist. The Health Minister has said to me that there are currently no dental surgeries in Stowmarket or Needham Market accepting new NHS patients. This means travelling as far as Ipswich- although even there it is difficult to find an NHS dentist accepting new patients.

I will be launching a petition on the lack of free NHS dental care in central Stowmarket on Saturday morning, 15th May. I want to highlight how important this issue is and that action must be taken. I encourage concerned residents to sign my NHS Dentists Petition.

I shall also be putting copies of the petition through people's doors over the summer asking them to sign it. I want a big petition to take to the Minister for Health.

My message to London Ministers is clear: 'Give Central Suffolk its fair share of NHS funds for free dentistry. Stop discriminating against rural areas.'