Welsh Conservatives challenge Labour over dentistry crisis
Welsh Conservatives are leading a debate in the Senedd, bringing attention to the critical state of dentistry in Wales after 25 years of Labour governance.
It is reported that many patients are facing a wait of over two years to register with a Welsh NHS dentist.
The Shadow Health Minister for the Welsh Conservatives, Russell George MS, made his concerns clear, revealing that 93% of dental practices in Labour-led Wales are not accepting new adult patients under the Welsh NHS.
Further, over a third of dentists are planning to reduce their Welsh NHS contracts. “This is completely unsustainable,” he stated.
Successive Labour Ministers in the Senedd have been accused of lacking a coherent strategy to make healthcare professions, including dentistry, an attractive career option.
George asserts that this oversight has significantly contributed to the current dentistry crisis.
The Welsh Conservatives are urging Labour to collaborate with the British Dental Association, proposing two specific initiatives.
Firstly, dental practices should be enabled to increase their number of Welsh NHS patients.
Secondly, an incentive program to boost the number of dentists is recommended, with a proposal to refund tuition fees for dentists agreeing to work in Wales for five years following their studies.
In a clear call to action, the Welsh Conservative motion proposes that the Senedd note the dire findings of the British Dental Association’s investigation.
With 93% of Welsh dental practices not taking on new adult patients and a third of dentists planning to reduce their Welsh NHS contracts, the urgency of the situation is apparent.
Further, it highlights the extreme wait times faced by residents across Wales, with many waiting over two years to register with a Welsh NHS dentist.
The motion concludes by calling on the Welsh Government to collaborate with the British Dental Association and introduce measures to recruit more dentists by making Welsh NHS dentistry a more attractive career choice.
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