Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has hailed the establishment of the first independent dental practice in Lewis for over 30 years as the practice is set to officially open this week.
The Castleview Practice, on Cromwell Street, Stornoway, has been established by Dr Sridhar Kalvakuntla and is set to be opened by the Scottish Government Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing Joe FitzPatrick MSP on Thursday [29 August].
The Isle of Lewis has been without an independent dental practice since the closure of Bayhead Dental Practice in 2014. The closure left around 3,500 Lewis residents without a registered dentist.
Alasdair Allan commented:
“The opening of Castleview and the effect this has had in eliminating the dental waiting list for Lewis represents a huge step forward in terms of the island’s oral health.
“In the years since the closure of the Bayhead Dental Practice I was regularly contacted by constituents frustrated at the wait they were having to endure to get registered with a dentist. I am absolutely delighted that, largely thanks to Dr Kalvakuntla’s decision to establish a practice in Stornoway, that is now at an end. NHS Western Isles are also to be congratulated for the help and support they have given to help get Castleview up and running.
“The Western Isles historically had a poor reputation for dental health but I believe this is being turned around. Huge improvements have been made over the course of the last decade. In March 2007 32.5% of children and 42.3% of adults were registered with a dentist; in September 2018 those figures were 84.4% and 75.9% respectively. In that same time period the percentage of P1 island children with no obvious decay has gone from 57.7% to 79.1% - the third best rate in Scotland. We have also had the construction of the £4.7 million Dental Centre in Stornoway.
“I hope as many islanders as possible take advantage of the elimination of the waiting list for registration and ensure they are able to access a local NHS dentist.”