Welsh Conservatives to lead Senedd debate on Wales’ dentistry crisis
The Welsh Conservatives are set to lead a Senedd debate today (Wednesday 24 May) on Wales’ dentistry crisis.
It is reported that many patients are facing a wait of over two years to register with a Welsh NHS dentist.
In some extreme cases people have been forced to carry out their own dental work to deal with the pain that they were in while waiting to see a dentist.
An inquiry held by the Senedd Health and Social Care Committee found that whilst COVID-19 inevitably had a severe impact on access to NHS dentistry, there were also long-standing issues prior to the pandemic.
Shadow Health Minister for the Welsh Conservatives, Russell George MS, has claimed that 93% of dental practices in Wales are not accepting new adult patients under the Welsh NHS.
He has also warned that over a third of dentists are planning to reduce their Welsh NHS contracts.
Russell George MS said: “93% of dental practices in Labour-run Wales are not taking on new Welsh NHS adult patients and over a third of dentists plan to reduce their Welsh NHS contracts.
“This is completely unsustainable.
“What has been sorely lacking from successive Labour Ministers in the Senedd is a coherent strategy to make healthcare professions, including dentistry, an attractive career option.
“Welsh Conservatives are calling on Labour to work with the British Dental Association to allow dental practices to increase their number of Welsh NHS patients and to boost the number of dentists by refunding tuition fees for dentists that work in Wales for five years after their studies.”
A motion due to be debated by politicians this afternoon will call for the Senedd to:
- Notes that an investigation by the British Dental Association found that 93 per cent of dental practices in Wales are not taking on new Welsh NHS adult patients.
- Recognises that the British Dental Association’s survey of 250 dentists in Wales found that over a third of dentists plan to reduce their Welsh NHS contracts.
- Expresses concern that many residents across Wales are waiting over two years to register with a Welsh NHS dentist.
- Calls on the Welsh Government to: work with the British Dental Association to ensure Welsh NHS dental contracts allow dental practices to increase their number of patients; and urgently recruit more dentists by making Welsh NHS dentistry an attractive career, by refunding tuition fees for those who work five years in Welsh NHS dental practices.
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