Newly elected Councillor for Elgin City North Sandy Keith has written to the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian demanding answers after the news that the Bishopmill Dental Centre in his ward is currently de-registering patients.
Councillor Sandy Keith said, “Access to dental care in Elgin and indeed Moray has been a problem for much of the last 15 years. Clearly this decision is regrettable and one which will exacerbate matters.
“I have written to the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian on hearing the news to ask what has been done prior to this announcement and what plans NHS Grampian is working on to address the situation.
“Going forward access to NHS Dental care must be a priority and there needs to be a recognition of that from NHS Grampian. Indeed, many in Moray would argue that this long identified problem is another example of where the people of Elgin and Moray are not receiving the medical and dental care locally that they deserve. The current situation over the provision of maternity services is another example of dissatisfaction locally.
This situation seems like another example of the Scottish Government failing to develop a workforce plan for the Scottish NHS which adequately addresses the need for dentists, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals throughout Scotland but particularly in the more rural areas of Scotland like Moray.”
Long-standing problems with dental provision in Moray highlight the inadequacies of the way in which dental care is commissioned in Scotland. At present, the vast majority of dentists in Scotland are private contractors with little obligation to register or retain patients. Last year, David McColl, Chair of the British Dental Association’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee, warned that Humza Yousaf, Cabinet Secretary for Health, may well be “remembered as the man who killed NHS dentistry in Scotland.”
Moray Labour is calling for a shift away from private contractors towards the provision of Public Dental Services – dentists directly employed by NHS Grampian – to ensure the security of dental services in Moray in the future.
Many in Moray would argue that this long identified problem is another example of where the people of Elgin and Moray are not receiving the medical and dental care locally that they deserve. Councillor Sandy Keith