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January 11, 1947


JAMA. 1947;133(2):124-125. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880020050023

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To the Editor:—  In the British Dental Magazine and Oral Topics (63:206 [Oct.] 1946) the following interesting item occurs:In Great Britain a committee had gone into the question of dental benefit under the British National Health Insurance Act, and the following was a quotation from their report:"Roughly two thirds of the insured population, that is, between thirteen and fourteen million people, are entitled to dental benefit, but only 800,000 (less than 7 per cent) of these claim it on an average each year."It has always been my contention that making health services available and "free" is not enough. In our small health department clinics here in Birmingham we have to police some 10,000 syphilitic patients every year to make them return to the clinics and take at least the minimum required treatments. Our first duty seems to be to teach the public the value of health.

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