SNP pledges to abolish dental charges
The Scottish National Party has pledged to abolish dental charges if it is elected to form the next Scottish Government.
“It is 70 years ago this month that Nye Bevan, the founder of our NHS, resigned from government in protest at the introduction of NHS dental charges,” said Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, in a speech launching the party’s manifesto. “The iniquities of these charges are still with us today.”
Sturgeon said: “The choice of what treatment to receive – or indeed whether to receive any treatment at all – can depend on how much someone is willing or able to pay. That is harmful for patients who don’t access the treatment they need. But it also puts pressure on other parts of the NHS.
“In the year before the pandemic struck, almost 4,000 people attended A&E for dental health reasons. Many of these attendances – and a great deal of pain besides – would have been prevented with an earlier visit to the dentist. That pressure is likely to grow as we tackle the backlog of care caused by COVID.”
Sturgeon said that abolishing dental charges “will ensure that cost is not a barrier to accessing health care. And it will complete an SNP mission to restore all of Scotland’s NHS to its founding principle – universal healthcare, provided free at the point of need.”