1 November 2018
“Despite a range of good health measures in the ALP’s election platform, there is still a large hole – public dental care for the 2.5 million Victorians who are eligible” said Tony McBride, Spokesperson for the Victorian Oral Health Alliance (VOHA) today.
“With over 140,000 Victorians currently on public waiting lists for general dental care, a commitment to a significant funding increase is needed to tackle one of the largest inequities in the Victorian health system,” he added.
Good oral health is critical to being able to eat, speak and socialise without pain or embarrassment. One consumer recently interviewed by VOHA said “If you can put the money into dental…you could really change people’s lives”.
VOHA welcomes the ALP’s commitments to existing dental initiatives. These include reducing the gap in oral health outcomes for people at higher risk of oral disease, increasing dental services for Aboriginal Victorians, continuing to provide public dental care in community health centres and expanding the availability of fluoridated water supplies. But with public dental waiting times now exceeding 20 months, much more needs to be done to provide vulnerable Victorians with the care that they need.
VOHA acknowledges recent cuts to Federal Government funding however this funding cut is only a small part of the overall public dental budget in Victoria, and ultimately the responsibility for public dental care rests with the State Government.
VOHA is urging both levels of government to commit to increasing the target number of patients treated to 800,000 per year by 2023, with an appropriate increase in funding in order to achieve this. This would require an additional $40 million for the 2019/20 budget, which would go a long way to assist with much needed dental care for Victorians.
Tony McBride (VOHA Spokesperson) 0407 531 468
- Anglicare Victoria
- Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch (ADAVB)
- Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association Victoria (ADOHTA Vic)
- Australian Dental Prosthetists Association (ADPA)
- COTA Victoria
- Dental Hygienists Association of Australia (DHAA)
- Health Issues Centre
- North Richmond Community Health
- Star Health
Other related documents below:
- VOHA – Joint position statement on better oral health and access to dental care
- Improving support for older Victorian’s dental health