Scottish Lib Dems pledge to fix Scotland’s ‘dental deserts’

Home UK News Scottish Lib Dems pledge to fix Scotland’s ‘dental deserts’
Scottish Lib Dems pledge to fix Scotland’s ‘dental deserts’

PA Media Alex Cole-HamiltonPA Media

Alex Cole-Hamilton said the Lib Dems would end “neglect” towards dental care in Scotland

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have promised patients will be able to see an NHS dentist at the first time of asking as a flagship policy of their general election campaign.

The party’s leader, Alex Cole-Hamilton, accused the SNP and Conservative governments either side of the border of “neglecting” oral health services and turning parts of the UK into “dental deserts”.

He said some patients had ordered “DIY kits” online in order to perform dental work themselves due to long waits for care in Scotland.

Mr Cole-Hamilton will join the UK’s Lib Dem leader, Ed Davey, to officially launch their general election campaign on Monday.

The party has four of Scotland’s 59 current seats at Westminster.

Speaking at a campaign event in Bishopbriggs on Saturday, Mr Cole-Hamilton said the party was aiming to “tear down the acid yellow wall of the SNP”.

He said the party had continuously made “empty promises” on boosting dental care coverage, stating some Ukrainian refugees had travelled back to Kyiv rather than experience long waiting times in Scotland.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “The SNP promised to scrap dental charges, but instead they have introduced new charges and doubled the price of some procedures.

PA Media Dental workPA Media

Mr Cole-Hamilton said those waiting for dental care were “in pain” due to long wait times

“Dentists are being driven away from the NHS because working with this SNP government is harder than pulling teeth.

“No matter how much pain you are in, seeing an NHS dentist in Scotland is harder than ever before.

“It’s a stark reminder of how the SNP make empty promises and can’t get the basics right.”

He added: “People have had enough and the Scottish Liberal Democrats are on the side of everyone tired of SNP neglect.”

PA Media Ed DaveyPA Media

Sir Ed Davey launched the party’s UK campaign last week

But that only applies in England as health is a devolved matter.

Mr Davey said it was a “national scandal” that people were carrying out their own dental work at home.

He said: “It is time to end dental deserts after years of neglect by Conservative and SNP governments.

“In Westminster, the Conservative party has shown complete disregard for dental services, whilst the SNP record on the NHS continues to be shameful.”

PA Media John Swinney in GlenrothesPA Media

John Swinney campaigned in Glenrothes during the first weekend of the election race

Meanwhile, the SNP leader John Swinney will call on voters to “kick the Scottish Conservatives out” of every seat in the country.

The first minister will use a visit to Dumfries and Galloway, where Scottish secretary Alister Jack is the outgoing MP, to highlight the cost of living crisis and austerity, which he says have been inflicted on Scotland from Westminster.

He said: “In every seat the Tories currently hold, the SNP is the challenger and the only party who can defeat them.

“The Tories have shown nothing but disrespect and contempt for Scotland. They deserve nothing less than to be electorally wiped out.”

Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross will be campaigning in Falkirk, the seat held by Michael Matheson, ahead of his plans to bring forward a vote on demanding the former health secretary resign over the scandal surrounding his iPad data roaming bill.

Holyrood’s standards committee recommended Mr Matheson should be barred from the chamber for 27 days and docked 54 days’ worth of his MSP salary.

Mr Ross said: “In any other line of work, Michael Matheson would lose his job. MSPs cannot put themselves on a higher pedestal than others.

“We must be held to the same standards.”

DEREK WATSON Scottish Greens Glasgow candidatesDEREK WATSON

The Scottish Greens are standing six candidates in Glasgow

Scottish Labour leader, Anas Sarwar, will put forward his party’s plans on green jobs during a visit to a windfarm in South Lanarkshire.

In Glasgow, the Scottish Greens will unveil their full slate of candidates for the 4 July ballot.

The party said voters will be able to select a Green candidate in every part of the city in a bid to put “people and the planet first”.

Their candidates include Iris Duane who is seeking to become the first trans woman of colour elected to Westminster.

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