NHS Dentists issue open letter to new First Minister

29 March, 2023 / infocus
 Will Peakin  

Following the election of Humza Yousaf as SNP leader and his swearing in as First Minister, dentists’ leaders in Scotland have called for “immediate action to ensure the beleaguered service has a future”.

The leadership election has delayed the timetable for reform of what has been described as the “low margin/high volume” system NHS dentists currently work to, which has left providers facing the risk of delivering NHS care at a financial loss.

In an open letter the British Dental Association has stressed that without immediate action the exodus from NHS dentistry will accelerate.

A recent survey of high street dentists across Scotland showed more than half (59 per cent) have reduced the amount of NHS work they do since lockdown, and four in five (83 per cent) say they plan to reduce or further reduce their NHS commitment in the year ahead.

In the letter, the BDA’s Scottish leadership write: “In 2021, the SNP made a promise to the Scottish electorate: free NHS dentistry for all. The decisions you take in your first 100 days will effectively determine if that promise is going to be kept.”

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Scottish Dental magazine