TODAY (14th November) in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Labour Government to improve access to dental care for the elderly in Wales to help combat rising levels of Oral cancer.
According to an Age Cymru survey, 80% of elderly patients reported negative experiences accessing dental care, an increase of 10% from the previous year.
That same survey found a patient taking out a £1600 loan just to cover dental costs, this is just simply not good enough.
The party are now calling on the Welsh Government to improve access to dental care for the elderly, to reduce rising cases of oral cancer amongst the older generations, with a peak in cases amongst those aged 60-69.
Commenting, Jane Dodds MS said:
“Incidents of Oral and Pharyngeal cancer, which disproportionately impact the older generation, have been rising steadily since 2002.
However, as ever, there is hope in the form of readily available and accessible dentistry services.
According to the British Dental Association, 9 in 10 people diagnosed with oral cancer survive if it is caught early.
But increasingly more elderly people are facing an impossible choice between living with dental pain or paying exorbitant bills for private treatment.
I have heard countless stories of people paying exorbitant amounts to access treatment where NHS provision has failed.
Now is the time for Welsh Labour to act and stop neglecting our dental services here in Wales.
The Welsh Government must act now to end the crisis in NHS dentistry.”