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Patients wait months for dental care

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“I don’t know how much longer I will be expected to wait.”

DENTAL patients in Greenpoint are not able to smile too broadly as they have been waiting for months for rotten teeth to be extracted.

Patients at the Greenpoint Clinic stated that they often waited for long hours to see the dentist, only to be turned away.

“We have to take a whole day’s leave to wait in the queue, becoming hungry and tired, only to be told to return next month. Children in need of dental care miss out on classes when they have to take off from school to come to the clinic.”

One patient, Phillip Leonard, said that he has been waiting since November to have a tooth extraction procedure done.

“Every month I am told to come back. The next date when a dentist will visit the clinic is March 25. It is very painful to suffer from toothache. I am not able to sleep properly because of the pain,” said Leonard.

He also claimed that the dentist had reduced the number of patients seen at the clinic from 20 to about seven.

“The number of patients who receive consultations is becoming less and less. We want to know who gave the dentist the authority to shorten the list of patients who receive assistance. The dentists are rude to us and act as if they are doing us a favour by helping us. After waiting in the queue for many hours we are referred to the Galeshewe Day Hospital or Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital.”

Leonard added that he had trouble dealing with the foul smell of his rotten teeth.

“I don’t know how much longer I will be expected to wait.”

The Department of Health did not respond to media enquiries by the time of going to print.