Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today revealed new figures showing almost ten times as many patients are now waiting over 12 weeks for hospital dental treatment as there were four years ago.
Figures acquired by the Scottish Parliament Information Service (SPICe) for the Scottish Liberal Democrats reveals that at the end of March 2019, 1,139 patients were waiting over 12 weeks for inpatient and daycase dental treatment, up from just 120 patients in March 2015. The health board with the most patients waiting over 12 weeks was Greater Glasgow and Clyde (340 patients), followed by Grampian (263 patients) and Highland (191 patients).
Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:
“Liberal Democrats were instrumental in introducing free dental checks in Scotland and in pressing for a new dental school to address the shortage of dentists, particularly in remote and rural areas of Scotland. As a result the country has made solid progress in improving dental health in recent years
“Unfortunately these new figures show a rapid rise in the number of patients who are being left waiting in pain for serious treatment in breach of the SNP’s treatment time guarantee.
“With recent figures suggesting that hundreds of dentists have left the profession early, we need incisive action to ensure that no one is left facing agonising long waits for treatment.”