Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has expressed local concerns about proposals to relocate dental services in Uist to a central location, following the measure being voted through by the Western Isles Integrated Joint Board last week.
Uist is currently serviced by three dental clinics; in Lochmaddy, Liniclate, and Lochboisdale. The proposals envisage all services being moved into Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh, Balivanich. This would leave some patients with a round trip in excess of 60 miles.
Last month the local MSP met with Uist community councils to discuss the issue.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“I met with community representatives in Uist last month who left me in no doubt about their views on the proposals to centralise dental services in Balivanich. It is quite concerning to hear the extent to which local community groups feel their voices are not being listened to by the Western Isles IJB.
“Since then, I have taken this up with the Western Isles Integrated Joint Board and have made clear that peoples’ concerns are real.
“In particular, I am not personally convinced that there is a real explanation on offer about how transport would be improved or provided for the patients who would have the furthest to travel. I would hope the views of people in Uist are properly taken into account on this matter.
Cllr. Uisdean Robertson, chair of the Association of Uist Community Councils, commented:
“I would like express my disappointment at the decision. The Association of community councils had met several times to discuss the matter, and their views were made quite clear and articulated in plain language to the Western Isles Integrated Joint Board.
“The sad part in all this, for my own part, is that the decision arrived at was what I expected. The views of our community are now being largely ignored by most of the agencies that deal with us.”