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Shortage of dentists in Scotland

Statistics show that there are relatively a very small number of dentists who graduate from the dental schools stay in Scotland to treat the patients. // This trend is on the rise and the health officials fear that his is due to the National Health Service (NHS) funding for the dental services.

Many dental graduates are out of job due to this activity of the NHS. In 2003 it was only 1% of the dental graduates who left Scotland to find work elsewhere but in 2004 the percentage raised to about one third of the fresh graduates seeking work outside Scotland.

Hence it would be very difficult for the health officials who have the responsibility of employing more number of dentists to reduce the dental crisis faced by the county. At the moment more than 250000 patients are waiting for an appointment with an NHS dentist.

This is due to the reason that many of the dentist have closed their doors for NHS patients and are making money from their privately opened clinics. When asked about their private practices they said that they need to do so in order to stay in business.

Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen said only 71% of the 135 Scottish dental graduates were employed in Scotland after leaving university. Richard Lochhead said that these figures show that the Government is facing problems in are recruiting more NHS dentists.

It is very clear that apart from existing NHS dental practitioners the new graduates from Scotland's dental schools are also leaving Scotland. But various measures and incentives are provided to the dentist by the government to attract them and avert the growing dental crisis.

Last year the government announced a £295m funding boost to encourage dentists to keep NHS patients. Dentists from other countries such as Poland are also attracted to work in Scotland.

But the British Dental Association (BDA) is not happy with the work that is going on and insists the government take extra measures to prevent the dental crisis. Andrew Lamb, the BDA's director for Scotland, said that the best way to prevent the crisis is to train more of their own dentists.


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