An unemployed dole recipient who tried to kill himself on Monday because his toothache was unbearable flashed a cheerful smile with his five remaining front teeth yesterday. Shum Kam-hung, 50, had six decayed teeth removed for free at a private dental clinic in Tsing Yi on Thursday and will have three more removed in follow-up treatment. He will be fitted with dentures to fill the gaps, thanks to help from a new group called International Action. The $6,000 treatment fee has been waived and the group will pay the $1,000 cost of the dentures. Mr Shum was very grateful yesterday for the help he is receiving but accused the government of being unsympathetic towards the poor. 'I did not eat or sleep well for many years because of toothache. I am unable to find a job and have to live on the dole but the government refused to help. Welfare is not enough for me to see a dentist. Where could I find the money? Should I commit a crime? The government is unsympathetic.' Mr Shum, who has been on the dole since 1991, was happy to find some people in Hong Kong, like International Action and the dentist who treated him, were concerned about the city's poor. The dentist, who refused to be named, said he had been sad to learn of Mr Shum's plight and hoped his patient would now take a positive attitude towards his life. Meanwhile, International Action is using Mr Shum's case to campaign for free dental care for the poor. Holding a placard saying 'Allow welfare recipients free dental care', one of the group's founders, Matt Pearce, said thousands of people were suffering pain and could not afford to see a dentist. 'Society should not leave the people in pain,' he said. In Hong Kong, people with physical disabilities and elderly welfare recipients are entitled to a dental allowance. The plight of Mr Shum came to light after he tried to kill himself by burning charcoal at his home in Tsing Yi Estate on Monday. A neighbour who saw smoke coming from Mr Shum's unit raised the alarm. He was rescued by firemen and taken to hospital.