More reports are appearing in the press about the need to improve NHS dentistry, including one from a new think tank saying that dentists should be forced to spend half their time working in the NHS.  As I wrote here earlier this week this is not the way forward.

The NHS is a broken system and NHS dentistry is no exception.  It cannot be mended by forcing staff to work in it or allowing dentists to fine people for not turning up to appointments.  The time has come to “think out of the box” as all of these management consultants say, and rather than trying to mend the un-mendable look for new ways of ensuring provision of the service.

Surely, it is time for politicians to accept that the state has failed in trying to provide this service and give the market a chance?  I don’t know what the market solutions would be anymore than I could not have predicted the plethora of mobile phone devices that we have now when Margaret Thatcher privatised British Telecom in the 1980s.  What I do know is that the market is a discovery process and that we know have an historic opportunity to discover the wonderful tapestry of services that it can provide.  And, while I know that no service will ever be 100% perfect I do know that the market can be no worse than the NHS!

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