Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

NHS dentistry in Dumfries and Galloway is in “crisis”, according to South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth

His comments come after another dentist in the region made changes to move some of its patients onto a private scheme.

Patients at Gunning Dental on Annan High Street will no longer be seen on the NHS by dentists Andrew Gunning or Jayne Grunwell as of May, although the practice has said it will continue to provide some NHS care.

This comes on the back of several practices across the region, from Thornhill to Gretna, dropping NHS services.

Colin Smyth said: “It just seems to be one dental practice after another is axing or reducing NHS services at the moment, and the Scottish Government are like rabbits caught in the headlights.

“They have no ideas or plans to deal with this crisis. As a result, NHS dentistry in Dumfries and Galloway is in crisis.

“Some patients in Annan will now have to join many others across the region in either having to pay for private care or try to find another dentist that provides NHS care but that is almost impossible locally. It is effectively the privatisation of NHS care in Dumfries and Galloway.

“I am really angry that the Scottish Government have failed to wake up to the growing dental crisis.

“The double whammy of the UK Government’s Brexit, which has meant there are almost no EU dentists coming to the UK anymore,  and more significantly the Scottish Government’s failure to properly fund dentists means this isn’t the first practise to reduce NHS services and it certainly won’t be the last. I expect many others to follow.

“Both Governments have been warned over and over that this would happen but they have completely ignored those warnings.

“Unless both governments face up to this crisis in our area, it is only a matter of time before no adult in our region will have NHS dental care.”

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