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A KOREAN War veteran from Abergavenny is facing a nine month wait for dental treatment despite suffering with constant tooth pain.

Charles Christmas, 85, needs to have an infected wisdom tooth removed but has been told there is a NHS waiting list of nine months.

He could go private, paying as much as £2,000 to have the tooth taken out, but would have to rely on family and friends.

David Davies, MP for Monmouth, said the wait is completely unacceptable.

Mr Christmas served 22 years in the Fleet Air Arm in the Royal Navy and served on the HMS Triumph, an aircraft carrier, during the Korean War.

Mr Christmas said: “I think it’s terrible the time you’ve got to wait for something like this... When I’m eating it’s pressing on it all the time. At night it is just throbbing."

Mr Davies said he has raised Mr Christmas’ case with Aneurin Bevan Health Board and has written to different armed forces charities to see if any financial assistance is available.

He said he’s had promising replies but added: “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.”

A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan Health Board said: “We cannot comment on specific details of individual cases due to confidentiality. Generally speaking, in some cases it is only appropriate for an oral surgical procedure to be carried out in hospital, this can be due to factors such as age, medications, and other medical conditions.

“Any patient would then be treated in accordance with their clinical priority. We are aware of Mr Christmas’ case and his dental surgery are liaising with hospital consultants to try and get him the treatment he needs as quickly as possible.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We cannot comment on individual cases. However, we expect all patients to be seen as quickly as possible, in order of clinical priority and within Welsh waiting times targets.”