The Victorian Oral Health Alliance welcomes Thursday’s announcement that a Matthew Guy Liberal Government will significantly increase funding for public dental care to address long waiting times and put an emphasis on oral health this election.
“We have seen the waiting times for access public dental care balloon from 20 months to nearly 27 months over the past 4 years, which is too long to wait for clinically necessary treatment,” said VOHA spokesperson Tony McBride. “While people languish for more than two years on a waiting list, their oral health deteriorates leading to more problems with their teeth, and their general health suffers as a result”.
There has been no significant boost to funding to treat eligible adults in the public dental system, which means that only around 220,000 of the 1.5 million eligible adults have access to essential oral health care each year. This means that care must be carefully rationed, with no ability to comprehensively manage the complex conditions many patients have.
“We are pleased that our advocacy efforts over the past four years, meeting with MPs and candidates across Victoria, has resulted in this announcement. We hope that Labor, Greens and independents can support this boost in funding which is necessary to improve the oral health of Victorians,” said Tony McBride.
VOHA is also calling major parties and independents to support VOHA’s election policy platform focusing on prevention and health promotion and measures to address the growing workforce crisis in public dentistry. This includes measures to expand water fluoridation to communities like Heathcote, increasing dental outsourcing funding and targeting the marketing of sugary junk foods to children.
Mr Tony McBride
Spokesperson, Victorian Oral Health Alliance
M: +61 407 531 465