A DENTIST has revealed he was using thousands of pounds of his own cash to fund his practice in Ravensthorpe.
Dr Khurrum Hamid has spoken out after he was forced to shut the doors of his surgery at Ravensthorpe Health Centre last week.
He criticised the lack of help he received leading to the closure of the only dental practice in the village, despite MP Paula Sherriff highlighting the issue in Parliament.
Dr Hamid claimed he had to put a six-figure sum of his own money into the surgery to be able to treat NHS patients.
In a statement sent to The Press, Dr Hamid said: “It is with deep regret and sadness that I have had to close the dental practice at Ravensthorpe. After today (last Friday) there will be no dental services in Ravensthorpe.
“I have worked under unfavourable conditions for five years, having to partially fund the practice from my own personal finances and unfortunately now, due to circumstances beyond my control, I am unable to continue.
“Behind the scenes, I have been extremely active in trying to procure appropriate resources for Ravensthorpe. I have lobbied numerous ‘elected public servants’, none of whom have done anything to retain dental services in Ravensthorpe.
“I am unable to comment about the role of NHS England in this matter at this time.
“In 2014, I identified a great need for dentistry in Ravensthorpe and observed a crisis in child dentistry – hence I employed a ubiquitous open-door policy for all children.
“I wish all my 2,666 patients all the best in securing NHS dentistry for the future.”
Since the closure of Dr Hamid’s practice, Miss Sherriff has moved to secure the future of dental services in the area and has been assured by local commissioners that a practice will be retained.
Responding to Dr Hamid’s statement she said: “Having met with Dr Hamid, I contacted NHS England but was advised that, due to government policy, they were unable to change the contract.
“I am concerned that Dr Hamid appears to be pointing the finger at local politicians when the decisions affecting his surgery lie firmly at the door of this Tory government, which has little regard for the dental health of residents living in the Dewsbury constituency.
“After a successful campaign by local ward councillors and I, instead of the contract being split between existing dentists in neighbouring communities, a new service will be commissioned in Ravensthorpe.”