AN Abergavenny war veteran with chronic tooth pain is facing a wait of nine months for dental treatment.
Charles Christmas, from Union Road West, visited his dentist at the beginning of June. He was told he has an infected wisdom tooth requiring extraction but there is an NHS waiting list of nine months.
In desperation, 86 year-old Mr Christmas paid for a private consultation at St Joseph’s Hospital in Newport where he was shocked to discover the cost of removing the tooth could be almost £2,000.
“I am not a wealthy man and I cannot afford to pay for a private operation,” said Mr Christmas, who served in the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm during the Korean War.
“I just hope something can be done to speed up the wait.”
Local MP David Davies has raised Mr Christmas’ case with Aneurin Bevan Health Board and written to various armed forces charities to see if any financial assistance is available.
“I have already had some promising replies,” said Mr Davies.
“However, we should not be relying on charities. Mr Christmas has valiantly served this country in war and peace and to be told he has to wait in pain for nine months is completely unacceptable.
“The Welsh Government is making a lot of noise about helping veterans but the reality is that nothing seems to be changing on the ground.
“I have been in touch with the local health board and want to know why something can’t be done more quickly for Mr Christmas.”