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Reintroduce no-delay NHS dental registration on the Isle of Lewis

This petition had 82 supporters

We call on the Scottish government to allow NHS dental registration on the Isle of Lewis.

For a number of years, there has been a complete lack of dentists working on Lewis with whom a resident who is not already registered can register as an NHS patient. Instead there is an emergency-only service, and there is a "waiting-list" for registration. A resident is allowed to join the list, and then they may be allowed to register perhaps six or 12 months later if enough patients die or leave the island.

Lewis has a population of nearly 20000 people, and it also has a large hospital. Until 2014 it was possible to register as an NHS dental patient here, and it is obviously still possible if the Scottish Government decides to recognise and solve the existing problem.

People on the Isle of Lewis and everywhere else in Britain are entitled to have routine maintenance of their teeth conducted within the NHS. The whole principle of the NHS is that all British citizens may have their medical and dental needs met. This cannot happen when we are not even allowed to register as patients. A promise that we may possibly be able to register in a year's time is not registration.

The only way we can register as NHS dental patients at the moment is to travel away from the island, to a town such as Inverness. Such a journey not only requires considerable expense but depending on a person's employment and family circumstances would also usually necessitate an overnight stay on the mainland. For many of us this would mean great inconvenience. For example we would need to arrange childcare and find alternative ways to ensure that other family responsibilities are looked after. Many residents simply cannot afford the expense and inconvenience of travelling to Inverness every few months for dental treatment.

The deterioration in dental health on this island that results from the Scottish Government's inaction is obvious.

The Scottish Government must therefore reintroduce no-delay dental registrations for residents on the Isle of Lewis as a matter of urgency. We do not want talk. We want action.

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