Anorak News | Tourist Trap

Tourist Trap

by | 15th, April 2004

‘WHEN Americans talk about an ‘English smile’, it is not usually a compliment.

‘Zis is for Agincourt et Waterloo et Jeanne d’Arc…”

In contrast to their shiny white ivories, our mouths often resemble disused graveyards with tombstones sprouting from the ground at all angles and in various stages of disrepair.

But that is all soon to change – in future, the Yanks will have to refer to the contents of our mouths as a ‘French smile’ or a ‘Freedom smile’ as it’ll be known if President Bush – God forbid! – wins another term of office.

The Indy reports that such is the shortage of NHS dentists in this country that an Isle of Wight councillor is organising trips to France in an attempt to find affordable dentistry.

Bernard Buckle, who is calling his project The Tooth Ferry, says the cost of a private filling in France was 20 euros (£13.34), compared with £50 here.

‘There is greater competition for trade between dentists in France,’ he explains, ‘and they get much larger government subsidies.’

This practice of taking advantage of subsidies funded by someone else’s taxes has a name – it’s ‘health tourism’.

But of course it’s completely different when we are the tourists, not the attraction.’

Posted: 15th, April 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink