ACT promises new mobile dental clinic

Labor has promised a new mobile dental service should it be re-elected in October.

As part of her campaign to win re-election ACT chief minister in October, incumbent Katy Gallagher has promised a new mobile dental clinic to service residential aged care facilities and young people. Ms Gallagher made the announcement, costing the service at $1.6 million, at the ALP conference over the weekend.

“ We know that good oral health is fundamental to an individual’s own health and wellbeing,” Ms Gallagher told the conference. “Poor dental health is also linked closely to socioeconomic status. We have a very good public dental program here in the ACT which delivers thousands of treatments every year with dental clinics based in our community health centres.

“Today I can announce that a re-elected ACT Labor Government will establish a mobile dental clinic to provide dental care to residential aged care facilities, special schools and to the young mums and dads at the Canberra College Cares program.”

The Canberra Times reported that an estimated 80 per cent of nursing home patients do not have regular dental care and the number of elderly denture wearers is expected to increase over the next 10 years. The ACT Dental Program currently provides some denture services to selected residential aged care facilities, but offers no preventative services or clinical dentistry.

The mobile clinic will provide services, including dental assessment, fitting, adjusting and repair; general dental treatment and restorative services such as fillings and extractions; preventative services including cleaning and oral hygiene education; and oral pathology identification and referral to specialist dentists.

“Labor will invest $1.6 million over four years to establish and run the service, which will provide comprehensive dental treatment to some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” Ms Gallagher said.

“Providing targeted assistance to people who need an extra hand up is core labor business. That is what this policy is about. It’s also about being flexible in our thinking about how we provide services to our community. If people find it hard to come to the dental clinics – well we will come to them.”


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  1. The so-called oral hygiene education that merely instructs with no attempt at allowing an understanding of Nature’s requirements is doomed to continue the horrific failure rate of conscientious brushing. More of the same misguided “education” will continue the debacle of a vaste majority of Australians suffering oral health problems and the associated general health problems needlessly. Is this acceptable?


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