Welsh Lib Dems call for end to dental drought

27 May 2024

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for an end to the dental drought in Wales.

The lack of available services, especially in rural areas, has resulted in Wales being labelled as a “dental desert”.

According to the latest waiting figures from the Powys Teaching Health Board, there are currently 4,295 adults still waiting to see a dentist. In Cardiff and the Vale the most recent figures available list 15,500 people as waiting to be allocated a dentist.

The Welsh Lib Dems have now called for an end to this dental drought and have urged voters to send a “powerful message” to both the Welsh Labour Government and UK Conservative Government who have both failed to give dentistry the priority it deserves.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have outlined their priorities for solving this crisis, which include better recruitment and retention of dentists and more support for local services.

Party Leader Jane Dodds MS also highlighted their success in getting the Welsh Government to implement a national waiting list system that allows health boards to assign a patient with a dentist quicker, something which the party has routinely called for in the Senedd.

Commenting, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

“The lack of available dentist services has effectively turned parts of Wales into a dental desert.

People in Wales are desperately trying to access an NHS dentist with over 4,000 adults still waiting for access to care in rural Powys alone and even in urban areas like Cardiff, thousands are languishing on waiting lists.

This election will give voters here in Wales the opportunity to send a powerful message to the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay and the UK Conservative Government in London, both of which have utterly failed to get to grips with this issue.

We want to end this drought in services by taking direct action in resolving this crisis, by recruiting and retaining more dentists and investing in local services.

We as a party have already successfully pushed for a national waiting list system, which will allow health boards to assign a patient to a dentist more quickly.

The implementation of a national waiting list is just the first step in our journey of delivering a better dental service to the people of Wales.”

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