Profession warns Welsh government over ‘unprecedented’ increase in NHS charges

Profession warns Welsh government over 'unprecedented' increase in NHS charges

The profession is calling for new funds for NHS dentistry in light of the recent increase in patient charges.

The British Dental Association Wales has said the Welsh government’s ‘unprecedented’ increase in charges for NHS dentistry must protect vulnerable patients and calls for new funds to secure a more sustainable service.

From 1 April 2024 a band 1 treatment like a check-up will increase from £14.70 to £20.00 – a 36.1% increase.

Picking up costs

A band 2 like a filling will increase from £47.00 to £60.00, a 27.7% increase. Finally, a band 3 treatment like dentures will increase from £203 to £260.10, which comes in at a 28.1% increase.

Urgent care charges will more than double from £14.70 to £30.00.  

The BDA say this could leave the Welsh government paying £6 towards that NHS care, with the patient picking up around 85% of the cost of that service. 

Oral health inequalities

Russell Gidney, chair of the Welsh General Dental Practice Committee, said: ‘If this money doesn’t end up providing better and more sustainable care then the Welsh Government will be following the Westminster playbook. Forcing patients to pay more, so they can pay less. 

‘Charges hikes should never provide cover for cuts. Any increases will inevitably force patients on modest incomes to delay dental care or avoid it entirely, and a proper safety net needs to be in place. 

‘Cardiff Bay must not go down a path that will widen already scandalous oral health inequalities.’

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