Consumer experiences of the long waiting lists
A couple of (many) stories provided by Community Information and Support Victoria of the impact of long waiting lists for oral health care in Victoria.
‘I have had a 72 year old who endured much before finally being placed on the waiting list for Periodontics at the Dental Hospital. Being accepted at all was a great feat and took over six months. Been on the waiting list now for 2 years and 2 months…believes she will have lost her remaining teeth by the time she is eventually seen. No one will tell her when. Cost of local Periodontist appointment – $500 approx for 1st appointment. Subsequent appointments are around $300 – $400. Not feasible on an Age pension.’
(One wonders if he/she would have been in this situation if regular timely care was available at the local community clinic).
And on the impact of waiting for years ….
‘I have a 31 year old with 3 small children … she is grateful for the [anti covid] mask and, irrespective of movements within Public Health [restrictions], will continue to wear it because it hides the fact she has no teeth. Her self-esteem is shattered and it has been many phone calls trying to get a Community Dentist to see her. This is not invasive treatment…simply moulds taken and a dental plate made. Meanwhile, she is able to eat only soft foods and tends to hide in her flat.’