Guernsey Press

Sarwar hits out at SNP’s ‘rotten record’ on support for dentistry

The Scottish Labour leader trained and worked as a dentist before embarking on his carer in politics.


Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar will attack the SNP’s “rotten record” on support for NHS dentistry as he campaigns ahead of next month’s General Election.

Mr Sarwar, a former dentist, will highlight inequalities of care that result in fewer people in deprived areas seeing a dentist for help.

Data from Public Health Scotland showed in the first three months of this year that 44,812 children and 133,705 adults from the most deprived parts of the country were able to see a dentist, compared to 55,780 children and 168,161 adults in the wealthiest parts of Scotland.

Mr Sarwar recalled how he had worked as an NHS dentist in “one of Scotland’s most deprived areas in Paisley”, adding that he remembered “how desperate many patients are when they turn up at a dentist’s door”.

Anas Sarwar worked as an NHS dentist before becoming an elected politician (Jane Barlow/PA)

Mr Sarwar insisted: “No one should be kept up in agony or end up resorting to dangerous DIY dentistry because the SNP has failed to support NHS dentistry.

“This SNP Government has had 17 years to root out this decay – but all that’s left is a rotten record.”

Mr Sarwar said under the SNP there was now a “wider trend” of Scots “turning in desperation” to private sector dental care to “stop the pain”.

However, he said: “The choice shouldn’t be sleepless nights because of your teeth or sleepless nights because of your bank balance.

“We also need the incentives that allow newly-qualified dentists to work for the NHS rather than going private to cover their own bills so that everyone is able to register as an NHS patient.”

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