Readers' letters: Scottish dentistry is in better hands

No one is claiming everything is rosy in Scotland’s NHS (Ian Murray, News, 11 August) as like everywhere in the UK our NHS is suffering from ongoing Covid staffing issues and the absence of EU workers, thanks to the ending of freedom of movement that Labour supports.

As the main levers of the economy and taxation are held at Westminster, it is fair to draw comparison with other parts of the UK and by any measurement Scotland has the best performing NHS in the UK.

While there are some local difficulties in Edinburgh, the fact remains that more than 95 per cent of Scotland’s population are registered with an NHS dentist.

Also, the dental workforce in Scotland with 54 dentists per 100,000 population is much stronger than in England (42 per 100,000 population) and Labour-run Wales (47 per 100,000).

Far from suffering a “managed decline” there has been a 39 per cent increase in the number of high-street dentists in Scotland between 2007 and 2021.

Under the SNP, Scotland is the only UK country to benefit from the extension of dental free care for young people aged 18 to 25 and in Scotland alone we have free eye tests for all.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.

Murray denigration of NHS is shocking

As a new Scot who has interacted with my GP surgery on five occasions in six months (three times by phone and twice in person) but did not see or speak to anyone in my London GP surgery for three years, I am shocked at Ian Murray's denigration of the Scottish NHS.

Surely he wouldn't want an NHS like that in Wales; run by Labour, where my friend's stepdad has just died aged 74, not having seen or spoken to his GP since before the first lockdown, despite being vulnerable?

Marjorie Ellis Thompson, Edinburgh.

Don’t worry Nicola, we’re not insulted

The First Minister claimed in her Fringe interview that calling her an ‘’attention-seeker’’ was an insult to all of Scotland.

I am one of the five million plus people that make up the collective entity known as Scotland and my family line has been traced back for centuries and may I ensure her that I – and many I know – did not feel in the slightest insulted. In fact most of us agreed with the original criticism.

So, once again, the SNP has conflated the whole of Scotland with the leader of a party of narrow nationalists.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Church accepts its minority status

Writing in his church’s in-house magazine, ‘Life and Work’, Church of Scotland Moderator, the Rev Dr Iain Greenshields says that Scottish society “feels little need for God”.

Citing plunging membership and an ageing demographic he suggests their solution might be “hard work and renewed gospel commitment.”

If this “gospel commitment” means further promoting unscientific beliefs or illiberal attitudes we wish him luck, at least as far as young people are concerned, but for us there is no schadenfreude in this development if The Kirk now gracefully accepts its minority and private status.

A continued insistence on access to schools, local government and a privileged exemption from tax and equality laws will only propagate the public resentment of which Rev Greenshields complains.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society.

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