Oral health plan needs more than ‘warm words’

BDA says that consultation provides opportunity to deliver a UK first with preventive pathways

13 December, 2016 / editorial
 

Scotland’s Oral Health Plan is “short on detail” and requires more than “warm words” to make a real difference, according to the British Dental Association (BDA) in Scotland.

The association was responding to the Scottish Government consultation into the future of oral health services, which closed last week (8 December). It has called on the government to set out how it will effectively resource proposals set out in the consultation documents.

Chair of the Scottish Dental Practice Committee, Robert Donald, said: “Despite 33 proposals, Scotland’s Oral Health Plan is short on detail. Warm words on tackling oral health inequalities, refocusing effort on prevention and meeting the challenges of an ageing population are sadly undermined by the total lack of references to additional funding anywhere in the document.

Together, we can take Scotland’s pioneering work on prevention to the next level. So let’s talk about narrowing inequalities, better diet, and turning the tide on oral cancer

Robert Donald

“This profession shares the Scottish Government’s aspirations on prevention. We have an opportunity to deliver a real UK first with preventive pathways, and build on significant gains made through Childsmile and other initiatives. However, it is unclear how further breakthroughs can be achieved without appropriate funding. There is already insufficient funding for NHS dental treatment, and if an Oral Health Risk Assessment is to be implemented, it is essential that it is properly resourced.

“Together, we can take Scotland’s pioneering work on prevention to the next level. So let’s talk about narrowing inequalities, better diet, and turning the tide on oral cancer. If the Scottish Government can start recognising the challenges this profession faces we can make real progress on all these fronts.”

BDA Scotland has sought feedback on proposals from across its membership and elected representatives.

The BDA’s full consultation is available on the association’s website. Click here to download.

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