During the Senedd this week, Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales Jane Dodds pressed the Labour Government on dental provisions in Mid Wales, warning that current provisions meant there was a “two-tier system.
She said that, at a public meeting in Llandrindod Wells last month, people described being left in agony, sometimes for months, due to being unable to see an NHS dentist.
Previous research by the Liberal Democrats showed over 20 per cent of dentists in Powys and Ceredigion are set to retire soon, making Mid Wales a potentially greater dental desert than it is currently.
Over the summer, two of Newtown’s dental practices shut down, leaving just two practices to serve the largest town in Powys with a population of over 12,000.
Recent polling also revealed that over a fifth of Welsh people tried to get a local NHS dentist appointment in the last year but couldn’t get one.
Jane Dodds MS said: “There is currently a wait of around two years for people to be able to see an NHS dentist in Wales.
“We need to see plans from the Welsh Government to ensure that people in Mid Wales are able to see an NHS dentist in ample time and are not left waiting in pain.
“It is not acceptable that currently we are being left with a two-tier system where the well-off can afford to go private and those, who are probably in the highest need, on lower incomes are left waiting in agony for treatment, unable to register for an NHS dentist.”