Waiting list for NHS dentist has increased by 14% in six months
Manx Care is considering introducing restrictions on eligibility for NHS dental treatment after a 14 percent increase in patients waiting to go on a dentist's list in the last six months.
The latest figures from the healthcare provider show there are almost 4,000 Manx residents waiting to be assigned to an NHS dentist.
One provider, which sees around 13 percent of Manx Care's dental patients, is handing back its contract in November.
Director of Operations Oliver Radford told Manx Care's September board meeting that a business case has gone to the Department of Health and Social Care seeking to remedy the situation.
He says changes to charges and eligibility criteria have to be looked at:
Non-executive director Nigel Wood labelled the prospect of eligibility criteria a "privatisation by stealth".
He also expressed his concern at the growing waiting list, describing it as "offensive":
The contracts provided to dentists mean the healthcare board can't ask them to take on more patients, leaving Manx Care with limited options.
Chief Executive Teresa Cope believes Manx Care needs to overhaul its contract for dentists carrying out NHS work as it currently struggles to engage with providers: