Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Simon Thomas AM has described the closure of Dolgellau’s only NHS Dentist as ‘another huge blow for rural North Wales’.
Nearly 4,500 patients will lose their only NHS dentist in Dolgellau at the month. The ‘My Dentist’ practice in Dolgellau will close on 31 March and the town's other practice is private.
The Plaid Cymru AM had requested a statement from the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Health Vaughan Gething in regards to the shortage of NHS dentists in Dolgellau.
The Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Environment and Rural Affairs stated:
“Once again, the people of North Wales are being short changed by the Welsh Government and its NHS. This is another blow for Wales’ rural economy when you think of the thousands of patients who enter Dolgellau town to visit the Dentist.
“This change will affect everyone from working parents to the elderly with the nearest NHS Dentist surgeries as far as Welshpool, Penrhyndeudraeth and Porthmadog.
“There is a worrying trend of scaling back vital services from our rural towns and villages. From the NHS to Banking Services, the People of Mid, West and North Wales are being left behind and the Welsh Labour Government aren’t doing enough to change it.”
In his response to Simon Thomas AM, the Cabinet Secretary for Health ensured the Plaid Cymru AM that the Welsh Government were aware of the issue and were working with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to re-commission the service as soon as possible.
But Simon Thomas AM insisted that the Welsh Government had to do more to protect local services in rural Wales:
“There shouldn’t be a consistent need to re-install local services as these services should be protected from the start. Residents of rural Wales have paid their dues and deserve the same quality and quantity of services as those enjoyed by residents of urban Wales.
“Plaid Cymru will continue to support rural residents and aim to secure a bright and prosperous rural economy for Wales.”