In a shocking investigation of dentistry services across the UK, analysis by the BBC has found that 94% of dentistry practices in the Highlands are not accepting any new NHS patients.
Liberal Democrat MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Jamie Stone, has implored the Health Secretary to visit dentistry practices in the Far North to see for himself how bad the situation is.
Mr Stone also wants the Minister to meet with local people who have been forced to wait in agony for months due to a lack of NHS dentist appointments.
The figures were released alongside harrowing accounts of DIY dentistry as hard-working families and pensioners struggle to find the affordable care that they need.
Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Jamie Stone said:
“People in our area should know if they are in pain or face a health emergency that the NHS is there for them.
“Yet these scandalous figures prove NHS dentistry in the Highlands is at breaking point.
“Our NHS dental system is broken because the Scottish Government has failed to stump up the cash.
“People are being forced to spend hundreds if not thousands of pounds on private dental care with some even resorting to their own at-home dentistry.
“Compounding this is the sheer distance some people are having to travel to access care.
“I implore the Health Secretary to visit the Highlands, to meet with local dentists and patients to hear just how bad things are here.
“It is high time that the NHS dentist contract were reformed and plans brought forward to recruit more local NHS dentists, so no matter where you live you know you can get the NHS dental care you need.”