Is dentistry becoming privatised?

14 October 2021
1 min read

Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland, has frequently expressed that voting for the SNP will prevent the NHS from becoming privatised. However, it seems that some people no longer believe this message. Indeed, some believe that she “has effectively privatised NHS Scotland’s dentistry by stealth,” the Herald reports.

As part of the publication’s ‘Letters’ series, Ian McNair, from Cellardyke, explains, “At best you might get a check-up or a wee clean, but any other treatment will require you to dive deep into your pockets. On a recent visit to my previously-NHS dentist I found that a somewhat complicated filling would cost me £300-plus. I asked the dentist when NHS dentistry would be fully restored and her sharp blunt answer was ‘never’.”

He claims, “A major part of our heath service has been de facto privatised, not by common knowledge but by stealth.”

The struggle to find NHS dental care is not only an issue in Scotland; Lina Hogan has told the BBC how she has been trying to find an NHS dentist since 2017. However, for Lina, a single mother, private dentistry is not a viable option.

Speaking to the broadcaster, she explained, “For someone like me, who doesn't get benefits because I work, and I'm paying huge childcare costs - it's impossible. You're down to your last penny every single month, there's no way I could afford even an extra £50 a month."