“So here are my teeth.” George Glinos, a resident of Childwall, an affluent neighborhood in the east of Liverpool (United Kingdom), draws a small transparent tube and slides 11 molars and incisors into the palm of his hand. His teeth, the sexagenarian pulled them out himself to shorten his suffering, for lack of being able to call on a dentist since the health crisis. “Either you stay to suffer for a long time, or you choose a short pain,” says the retiree, who receives a meager state pension each month.
Like many Britons, he is unable to make an appointment with a contracted dentist. Nine out of 10 dental practices treating people covered by the NHS are now refusing to accept new patients nationwide, according to BBC figures. In Liverpool, there are no dentists available for low-income patients like George.
These growing difficulties in accessing dental care are the result of a chronic underfunding of the health system by the British state. According to a report by the National Audit Office, the public funds injected only cover the needs of 50% of the population