Bridgend MP challenges Welsh Government over funding for Dental Practices

BRIDGEND MP Jamie Wallis has challenged Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething to explain why Welsh Government has trousered hundreds of thousands of pounds which should have gone to dental practices.

Welsh Conservative Jamie was contacted by a local dentist who complained that dentists in Wales have been shortchanged.

Jamie said: “I discovered that dentists in England have been getting 100 per cent of their contract price from NHS England since June 23 even though they are performing far fewer procedures because of the pandemic. They have been given their full money without any reductions because of the extra costs practices are having to bear with the provision of PPE.

“But in Wales, dentists have only received 90 per cent of their contract sum since July 1 although they are also having to provide PPE.  

“There are 500 dental practices in total in Wales and the sum that Welsh Government has retained must amount to many hundreds of thousands of pounds. Dentists have already been hard hit because they have not been allowed to furlough staff so are paying 100 per cent of their wage bill on 90 per cent of the income. 

“And it was worse than that at the start. From April until July, they were only getting 80 per cent of their contract sum compared to dentists in England who got 83 per cent. 

“Dental practices are small businesses where in Wales the NHS is often the only customer as private practice is very limited. 

“Dentists have been placed over a barrel by the actions of this Welsh Labour Government. They have still had to meet all their overheads like rent, business rates and wages while having a reduced income. Many practices did not qualify for any of the business support loans or grants or even for business rates relief and one dentist I spoke to said he had not been able to draw any wages for himself and his family for six months.

“This is no way to treat highly qualified medical professionals. We already have a shortage of dentists in Wales and people struggle to find a dentist at all in many parts of the country. It’s no wonder that some dentists do not want to come and work here when they are treated so badly.”

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