NHS dentistry in Scotland – ministers ‘playing with fire’ by cutting funds

NHS dentistry in Scotland – ministers 'playing with fire' by cutting fundsMinisters ‘risk undermining the future sustainability’ of NHS dentistry in Scotland by making cuts to funding.

This is according to the latest statement from the British Dental Association (BDA).

For the last three months, practices have received a 1.7 multiplier to the fees paid to provide NHS care. This was introduced in the face of reflection of the current backlog practices face.

But now the Scottish Government has now moved the multiplier down to 1.3 for the next three months.

On top of this, findings suggest the total number of high street NHS dentists in Scotland fell by more than 5% since Covid-19.

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Playing with fire

The BDA is continuing its calls for regular government discussion about the latest data and suggested changes.

David McColl is chair of the British Dental Association’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee. He said: ‘Ministers are playing with fire, pulling away the life support from a service millions depend on.

‘This multiplier helped ensure NHS dentists received fees for care that actually covered their costs. Slashing them will leave colleagues churning out dentures at a loss while thinking twice about their future.

‘Scotland has already lost too many NHS dentists since lockdown. Ministers are now blindly heading down the path the Westminster government has chosen, which has sparked an exodus.

‘Cuts have consequences. The Scottish government promised free NHS dentistry for all. Short-sighted policies like this will likely result in the exact opposite. Stark oral health inequalities will only widen further.’

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