A man from Dumfries and Galloway has criticised Scottish Government assertions that prescriptions are free in the country.

Clive West, from Gatehouse of Fleet, said he now has to pay for a dental prescription after his NHS practice switched to private practice in 2021.

As a result, he claims to have gone from paying nothing for both appointments with his dentist and a prescription, to paying around £400 a year.

“We’re in the fortunate position that we can afford to do that,” he said. “But I do worry about what must be thousands of people in our area who perhaps can’t.”

Thousands of people across the region are struggling to access dental care on the NHS, with the vast majority of practices unable to accept new NHS patients.

“We were notified by our NHS dental practice in Castle Douglas that they were going to cease doing NHS work and we had to find alternatives,” said Mr West.

After signing up to a private insurance plan, he said: “We suddenly went along to the chemist, presented the prescription and the chemist informed us that we had to pay.”

Upon contacting his dentist, Mr West says he was told he could no longer get his prescription on the NHS as he was now a private patient – despite the fact that this was not a choice he’d wished to make.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Education Matters

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and join the fightback against Scottish Nationalism.