Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan called on NHS Eileanan Siar to clarify plans to restart orthodontic services in Uist.

Dental services have restarted across the Outer Hebrides after suspension last year due to COVID-19. Regular orthodontic care is available for patients continuing treatment in some island clinics.

However, residents have complained that orthodontic services have not recommenced in Uist. Alasdair Allan MSP initially wrote to the island health board on 12 April to ask for an update on service resumption.

Alasdair Allan MSP commented:

“Clearly COVID-19 has caused a great deal of disruption and health efforts have focussed on the vaccination programme. But it is highly inequitable that patients in Uist do not have access to the same dental services available in other island areas.

“Several constituents have contacted me over the last month to ask when the orthodontist will be allowed to see people again in Uist. Patients have been left in the dark about the continuation of their treatment, with instances of device malfunction and pain.

“There has been poor communication as to when orthodontic care will continue again, and some individuals have had to wait 9 months to be seen. Some have had to travel to Barra under their own steam to receive emergency care, but I have heard that even this option is now unavailable.

“Even if conditions at the Uist dental clinic prevents safe working, the health board should at the very least arrange for patients to access appointments at other island centres.”

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