Dental charges for young people to be scrapped from August

The policy will provide free NHS dental care for people aged 18-25 if approved by MSPs.

Dental charges for young people to be scrapped from August Peter Dazeley via Getty Images
The policy will provide free NHS dental care for people aged 18-25 if approved by MSPs.

Dental charges for young people are to be scrapped by the end of August, the Scottish Government has said.

The policy will provide free NHS dental care for people aged 18-25 if approved by MSPs.

Around 600,000 young people will benefit from the measure, ministers said.

The SNP pledged in its election manifesto to abolish all NHS dentistry charges over the course of the Parliament.

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It said this would start with care-experienced people aged between 18 and 26.

But in a letter to dentists, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the move is being accelerated.

“The oral health of young people often suffers as they move out of the family home, away from the supervision of parents for the first time,” he said.

“I am also particularly mindful of the disproportionate economic impact of the pandemic on our young people.

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“That is why we now are going even further than our original commitment to remove dental charges for care-experienced young people within 100 days of this Government and widening this out to include all 18 to 25-year-olds.”

Mr Yousaf said he appreciates the challenges dentists face during the coronavirus pandemic and that he will discuss providing additional financial support with the British Dental Association.

Patients who are not exempt from charges currently pay 80% of the cost of their NHS dental treatment up to a maximum of £384 per course of treatment.