LIBDEM LEADER Cole-Hamilton calls for “dentistry recovery plan with real bite” 

By Bill Heaney

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has today called for an action plan to restore NHS dentistry after the annual dental statistics published by Public Health Scotland revealed that the number of patients seen in 2021 was less than half when compared to 2019.

As of 30 September 2021, 87.7% of children were registered, down from 91.4% in 2020.

The British Dental Association Scotland recently warned that the SNP government’s plans to revert to pre-COVID models of work “may devastate dental services”, by “sparking a flight of dentists from the NHS”.  BDA Scotland Chair, David McColl, also warned Health Minister HumzaYousaf that he risks being the man “who killed NHS dentistry in Scotland”, likening the plans to being “shackled to a corpse”.

Health Minister Humza Yousaf and LibDem Leader Alex Cole Hamilton.

BDA Scotland revealed that 9 in 10 of Scottish dentists estimate the removal of emergency funding will have a high impact on the short-medium term sustainability of their practices.  8 in 10 said they would reduce the amount of NHS dental work they carried out, with 4 in 10 suggesting they would stop providing NHS treatment altogether. 

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:  “Something is rotten in the SNP’s plan for dentistry. Industry bodies have previously warned it is like being shackled to a corpse.

“There has been a huge shortfall in dentistry appointments over the pandemic and action is needed to make sure that NHS dentistry recovers.

“At this rate, many people across the country with be faced with the option of going private or going without. We need a dentistry recovery plan with real bite.”


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