BIG INCREASE IN NHS DENTISTS HELPING TO DELIVER PROGRESS ON DENTAL REGISTRATIONS

PROGRESS OF NHS SCOTLAND UNDERLINES NEED FOR A YES VOTE

A substantial increase in the number of dentists in Scotland since 2007 when the Scottish Government took office has helped to secure dramatic increases in the proportion of people in Scotland registered with an NHS dentist.

The figures revealed in response to a Parliamentary Question show that there has been an increase in the number of General Dental Service dentists in Scotland of over 30 per cent since the SNP took office, rising from 2,434 in September 2006 to 3,178 by 31 March 2014.

This substantial increase in the number of practicing dentists has helped to ensure that 91.5 per cent of children in Scotland were registered with an NHS dentist by March 2014, compared to just 67.2 per cent in March 2007. Meanwhile 83.7 per cent of adults in Scotland were registered with an NHS dentist in March 2014, compared with 46.2 per cent in March 2007 before the SNP took office.

In welcoming this news Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson MSP said:

“I remember only too well the appalling situation that the previous administration had allowed to develop before the SNP took office, with far too many people in Falkirk district struggling to access an NHS dentist. Now the situation has reversed with many more dental practices throughout the Falkirk area, with most of them advertising that they accept NHS registrations.

“That is why since the SNP took office, we have made recruiting and retaining NHS dentists a priority, so that dentist registrations have increased substantially in Falkirk and Scotland as a whole.

“Dental health is important throughout people’s lives, but matters so much when children are growing up – which is why the fact that 91.5 per cent of children in Scotland are now registered with an NHS dentist is so pleasing.

“We have made great strides when it comes to improving dentistry provision across this area.

“But if we are to continue to invest in improving NHS services, including dentistry we need to be able to protect Scotland’s NHS from the financial effects of privatisation at Westminster – something only a Yes vote will achieve.

“I am determined to ensure that the progress we have made is maintained and built on, which is why dentistry will remain an important health priority.”