Dr Murphy was asked his views on the current situation regarding dental care in Scotland by the Herald newspaper. In particular the journalist wanted to know why Scottish dentists are reducing the number of NHS patients on their books.
Dr Murphy explained that as a member of the Scottish Dental Association he had studied the statistics and found the fees for NHS work paid no longer cover dentists’ costs.
The truth is, unfortunately, because dentists cannot afford to work within this system that we’ve been discussing for two and half years, the patients are not getting what they need.
The reason they’re not getting what they need is because the Scottish Government have refused to change the system or put in an interim system, which is what we requested. The Scottish Government agreed to and then reneged on that.
The article pointed out that most dental practices in Scotland provide both NHS and private care but Dr Murphy said the share of time spent on NHS activity had fallen from an average of around 75% pre-pandemic to around 50% now as practices try to “strike that better balance” to cover their overheads.