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Last Updated: Monday, 12 June 2006, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Dental results delight minister
Lochmaben hospital
The health minister has met Polish dentists in Lochmaben
The health minister has visited to Lochmaben Hospital to see the impact of recently recruited Polish dentists.

Andy Kerr then went on to chair the NHS Dumfries and Galloway Annual Review during his trip to the region.

He said it was "fantastic" to see the turnaround in the region's dental cover with hopes high of full NHS provision being available in the near future.

Dumfries and Galloway has seen many NHS dentists deregister, leaving thousands of people without cover.

Mr Kerr said the decision to bring Polish dentists into the region matched the executive's desire to make services as local as possible.

"It is fantastic," he said. "Last year when I carried out a review, dental services were way up there as the biggest issue.

"To see the transformation over such a short period of time is great."

Big issues

Mr Kerr added that he was also pleased at the welcome that the overseas dentists had been given.

"They were keen to point out how welcoming and open the community was," he said.

On other health matters, Mr Kerr praised NHS Dumfries and Galloway for its dealing with "big ticket" issues like dentistry and waiting times.

He added that he hoped work could be done to remove the need to travel outside the region for the likes of renal and chemotherapy.

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