Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant says some dental services currently not available on the NHS are available if the patient is willing to pay privately.
The MSP has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman, after a number of constituents approached her raising concerns that dental treatments – such as fillings and root canals – which are currently not available on the NHS because of the coronavirus restrictions, are available if the patient is willing to pay privately for the treatment.
Under current Scottish Government guidelines NHS dentists can offer only a limited range of services but these restrictions do not apply to private dental services and thus many people are being prompted to pay for the treatments recommended.
Rhoda Grant MSP said: “This is very concerning to me as not everyone will be able to afford these services if they are only available privately and the sad reality is that we don’t know when these restrictions will be lifted.
“I appreciate that extra equipment and PPE is necessary to keep dentists safe but it’s unfair that one person who needs treatment can get it because they can afford it while another person, who needs the same treatment, has to wait and potentially risk further damage because they don’t have the funds.”
"This…will widen the health inequalities gap between the rich and poor if it’s not addressed. That is why I’m raising this with the Scottish Government in the hope that a solution can be found.”.