VOHA developed and submitted a Victorian Budget submission in late June this year, aimed at influencing the October Budget. VOHA proposed a significant Catch-up program, in parallel with a recognition of the increased levels of both demand and of heightened costs of everyday care in new environment.
- Funding of a Catch-up program to treat all those who missed out on care during the pandemic, as soon as restrictions are sufficiently lifted. (Estimated cost $40 million)
- Achievement of this through both funding existing public services (utilising spare capacity) as well as outsourcing care to the private sector, where appropriate, to speed up service delivery and support the Victorian economy.
- Increased funding to accommodate the increased number of Victorians who will now be eligible for public dental care in 20/21 due to loss of income/work. (Potentially 200,000, with estimated cost $20 million)
- Acknowledgement of the increased costs of providing care post-pandemic and associated increase in funding for continuing dental care (e.g. reduced throughput and increased costs of extra PPE). This should apply to both public agency funding agreements and the funding of voucher schemes. (Incidentally, it should be noted that the Victorian voucher schemes have consistently remained the lowest in the country and are in dire need of review). (Estimated cost $10 million p.a.)
- Funding requirements to allow services to be much more flexible in how they provide care in their own contexts, including teledentistry, and the expansion of outreach work that can enable many disadvantaged groups to access necessary care (when they still show reluctance to recontact services or are residents in medium to high dependency aged care).
- Immediate commencement of planning to ensure services have access to sufficient secure, stable and affordable PPE supplies from a wider range of credible suppliers to cope with future unpredictable emergencies.