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Lord Grenfell asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: In recognition of the progress being made towards respect for human rights and the restoration of a democratic civilian government in Nigeria, on 1 November the EU adopted a new Common Position, replacing the Common Positions of 20 November 1995 and 4 December 1995. The UK was at the forefront of those advocating this change of policy. As a result the following measures have now been lifted: all visa restrictions; the ban on high level visits; the ban on sporting contacts; the ban on the appointment of European military personnel to diplomatic missions in Nigeria and Nigerian military personnel in the European Union.

The following measures continue to apply: suspension of military co-operation; cancellation of training courses for all Nigerian military personnel, except for non-combative courses to encourage respect for human rights and to prepare the military for the democratic control by a civilian government of the armed forces; an embargo on arms, munitions and military equipment. A dialogue on development co-operation may now be resumed with a view to re-engagement after the installation of a democratically elected civilian government.

The European Union also re-affirmed its willingness to strengthen a constructive dialogue with Nigeria and to support the electoral process. It also reiterated its support for Nigeria's regional peacekeeping activities.

The new Common Position will be reviewed no later than 1 June 1999. Should there be any deterioration in the

19 Nov 1998 : Column WA219

respect for human rights or the democratic processes, the Council will immediately review the Common Position with a view to adopting additional measures.

A copy of the new Common Position on Nigeria has been placed in the Library of both Houses.

Lord Grenfell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the United Kingdom will continue to impose an arms embargo on Nigeria, in line with the European Union's Common Position on 1 November.[HL3921]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Her Majesty's Government will continue to implement rigorously the EU arms embargo against Nigeria. The UK interprets this as covering all goods and technology on the UK Military List which forms Part III of Schedule 1 to the Export of Goods Order 1994, as amended.

Following consultations with this department and the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Trade and Industry recently approved, as an exception, a licence for the export of three military listed protected vehicles for use by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the escort of currency. This licence is being granted to permit a civilian end user to meet legitimate security needs and is consistent with the purpose of the embargo.

Dental Treatment and Anaesthesia

Lord Colwyn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they anticipate any reduction in the mortality and morbidity rates associated with dental treatment under general anaesthesia as a result of the General Dental Council's new restrictions.[HL3894]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): We welcome any steps proposed by the dental profession to improve the safety of dental treatment under general anaesthesia.

Lord Colwyn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the average length of waiting lists and the average time from referral to treatment for patients waiting for dental treatment under general anaesthesia in the Hospital Dental Service in each District General Hospital; and what will be the effect of the new regulations on waiting times.[HL3893]

Baroness Hayman: Information of this detail is not available centrally, but waiting times for oral surgery for each hospital trust are included in the publication "Waiting times for first outpatient appointments; detailed statistics, quarter ended 30 June 1999" a copy of which is available in the Library.

Lord Colwyn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they will take to compensate dental practitioners for the cost of anaesthetic monitoring and safety equipment now rendered surplus to requirement by the General Dental Council's restrictions on the provision of general anaesthesia in dental surgeries issued on 10 November; and [HL3891]

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    What assessment the Department of Health has made of the increased case load and cost which the General Dental Council's restrictions on general anaesthesia in dental surgeries will impose on the Hospital Dental Services.[HL3892]

Baroness Hayman: The General Dental Council's amendment to its ethical guidance on general anaesthesia, sedation and resuscitation has not precluded the provision of general anaesthesia with dental treatment in primary care.

Lord Colwyn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the cost of implementing the recommendations of the Poswillo report on General Anaesthesia and Sedation in Dentistry:

    (a) to the public purse; and

    (b) to the dental profession.[HL3890]

Baroness Hayman: The allocation to regional health authorities from 1992 to 1995 from the Department of Health was £20.4 million. Since then any further costs have been part of baseline allocations. Costs to the dental profession would be part of the normal business of running a dental practice and therefore not directly identified by government.

Lord Colwyn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many deaths and cases of severe morbidity have been associated with general anaesthesia for dental treatment in each year 1988 to 1998; and what was the location of each incident and the status of the administrator of the anaesthetic.[HL3889]

Baroness Hayman: The available information on deaths is given in the table. Statistics for severe morbidity are not held centrally.

Deaths associated with general anaesthesia and dental treatment, England and Wales

Year Total Place of operation: dental practice Place of operation: hospital Status of administrator and other comments
1998101Not available centrally
1989312Not available centrally
1990202Not available centrally
1992632GMP--3 cases GDP--1 case
1993101Anaesthetic registrar
1996220Consultant anaesthetist--2 cases
1997110Consultant anaesthetist
1998330GDP--1 case Anaesthetist--2 cases (one case in Scotland)

GMP--General Medical Practitioner.

GDP--General Dental Practitioner.

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