Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has today backed calls from the British Dental Association for additional financial support for mixed and private dental practices.
New figures from the British Dental Association (BDA) Scotland reveal that over 90% of mixed dental practices, which provide care for both NHS and Private dental patients, are not confident of maintaining their current staff levels in the coming year.
These findings come after dental practices were forced to shut for three months as part of measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
BDA Scotland’s figures also provide real cause for concern for the future of NHS dental care. They revealed that over half of practices carrying out majority/exclusively NHS procedures anticipate a comparative reduction in procedures during the next twelve months.
Mr Cole-Hamilton commented
“This pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on almost every sector within our society, and sadly we have seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of how individuals in our society face losing their income through no fault of their own.
We have seen from the evidence presented by BDA Scotland that the threat of redundancies transcends the private sector and threatens the level of NHS dental care being provided.”
Commenting further, Mr Cole-Hamilton said
“Whilst the recent figures are particularly damaging for mixed and private practices, they also paint a worrying picture for NHS dental care.
I am sure that the Minister for Public Health will be just as concerned by these forecasts as I am, and therefore I urge him to lay out plans for additional support for the dentistry profession as a matter of urgency.
The wellbeing of dental patients throughout Scotland depends on a comprehensive service able to meet their needs.”