BDA calls for a wholesale upgrade
The British Dental Association is leading calls for a wholesale upgrade to Northern Ireland's oral health strategy, which it has described as a "museum piece", which fails to deliver a preventative focus or address Northern Ireland's status at the top of the UK league table for tooth decay.
The current strategy is now over a decade old, with day-to-day decisions based on obselete data from 2003.
Lack of government in Northern Ireland means it is now the only UK region not to have committed to expansion of the HPV vaccination programme to boys - HPV is a major driver of oral cancers. Oral cancer rates are set to double by 2035 and is increasing faster among men than among women. With every year that passes, 12,000 more boys in Northern Ireland are left unprotected against HPV-related diseases.