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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 13:58 GMT
Dentists given cash to modernise
Dentist examining patient
The minister said the awards would mean better access for NHS patients
Thirty dental practices are to receive funding from the Scottish Executive for modernisation of services.

The practices include new "treat and teach" centres in Dumfries, Coatbridge and Perth, which will treat patients and help train new dentists.

Other areas to benefit include Kilmarnock, Hawick, Melrose, Dunfermline and Elgin.

The money is being allocated from 30m of funding announced by the executive last summer.

Dental professions

Deputy Health Minister Lewis Macdonald said the awards would lead to better access for NHS patients in many parts of Scotland.

"These allocations give NHS boards the opportunity to improve dental premises or relocate them to new state-of-the art premises in their area," he said.

"The funding will also be used to bring the training of dental professionals in to the community."

He added: "These investments underline our ongoing commitment to tackle the dental challenges affecting particular areas of Scotland and to deliver services for patients."

The minister also said that 4.5m of funding announced through the executive's plan for rent reimbursement and increased dental practitioner allowances had also reached NHS-committed dentists.

'Welcome boost'

Andrew Lamb, the British Dental Association's Director for Scotland commented: "Today's announcement of the allocation of the funding for dental premises in Scotland will be a welcome boost for the clinics, hospitals and access centres whose bids have been successful.

"But the money, first announced last August, is far from being the sole solution to the problems affecting patients across Scotland.

"If the Scottish Executive is serious about creating an NHS dental service for Scotland that truly meets the needs of patients and dentists, it must work constructively with high street dentists, who provide more than 80 per cent of the nation's dental care."

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