- 27 August 2021
Young people in Scotland under the age of 26 are now eligible for free NHS dental treatment, after the SNP Scottish Government fulfilled its election pledge to scrap dental charges.
Around 600,000 young Scots will now receive free dental care, with Health Secretary Humza Yousaf confirming that this is the first step in the SNP Scottish Government's plans to scrap dental charges for everyone in Scotland.
Within the first 100 days of this Scottish Government, initial plans only involved removing charges from those aged 18-26 from care-experienced backgrounds.
However, the SNP Scottish Government ramped up its ambition and delivered for Scotland's young people with an additional investment of £7.5 million - supporting the dental sector to recover, and expanding the scrapping of dental charges well ahead of schedule.
Free treatment for people aged under 26 will take effect immediately and there is no "opt-in" required.
Those who started a course of NHS treatment before their 26th birthday will also be eligible - ensuring that no-one entitled misses out.
The new investment comes alongside the SNP Scottish Government's previously announced £5 million investment to improve ventilation - further enabling dental practices to see more NHS patients under current COVID restrictions, remobilising Scotland's dentistry in a way that's safe for all.
Commenting, Bob Doris (MSP for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) said, "Since the SNP came to office, the number of people registered with an NHS dentist has almost doubled. Now with free dental care for under 26s, this will mark a key development in improving our nation's dental health. I look forward to future progress when dental treatment will, rightly, be free to everyone. Removing financial barriers to dental care is a key pledge of our SNP Government"
"I would also want to recognise the work our NHS dentists and medical staff more generally, especially through the pandemic. This year the Scottish Government announced medical staff will receive a 3% pay rise. Given the year we have had, it has never been so important to recognition their huge effort. This pay rise will ensure that Scotland's medical staff continue to be the best paid in the UK."