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15 November 2006

Stevenson Gains Ministerial Commitment To Extend Dental Grant Eligibility

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the commitment he has received from Deputy Minister for Health & Community Care Lewis Macdonald that the Scottish Dental Access Initiative will be revised to allow ‘bodies corporate’ to apply for grant aid.

The move follows the recent case highlighted by Mr Stevenson where Fraserburgh businessman George Jack was denied grant funding to open a new dental facility in the town as he himself was not a dentist. The rules meant that the North-east was denied a new NHS dental practice which would have brought relief to the large number of people currently without an NHS dentist.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“While it was bitterly disappointing that the Scottish Executive and NHS Grampian did not follow through on their promised support for the Fraserburgh proposal, it is clear that the controversy surrounding that decision has led to this rethink by the Minister.

“I hope that this change in Government policy will increase the opportunities for addressing the extreme shortage of access to NHS dental facilities faced by many of my constituents and indeed in the North-east generally.

Stewart Stevenson
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