ADA applauds Federal taskforce

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The Australian Dental Association Inc. (ADA) has put out a press release congratulating Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, and Greens Health Spokesperson, Senator for Victoria, Richard Di Natale on the announcement of a National Advisory Council on Dental Health.

Dr Shane Fryer, President of the ADA Inc. and member of the Advisory Council commented that the Council is a significant step towards addressing the disparity in oral health outcomes across Australia.

“The ADA has been calling for leadership and action on oral health at the Federal level for some years, and at last we feel that the vehicle for informed discussion and debate has been created. The ADA hopes that the advice from the Council, which brings together representatives from public and private dental services and the education sector, will set the platform for far reaching and sustainable reforms for public oral health care service delivery in the future”.

In the Australian context, where 80 per cent of dental services are provide in the private sector, to try and resolve issues of access and funding without the engagement of private dentists would be doomed to failure”, Dr Fryer added. “However, the public sector (both workforce and infrastructure) is a critical component in any plan to deliver dental services to the disadvantaged in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Thus, rather than directing all funding and assistance to the delivery of individual treatments, the ADA is suggesting that capital and resource investment in the public sector be undertaken to provide those sectors of the Australian community who genuinely struggle to access care, with a solid and resource rich dental asset base. Investment in the public sector will deliver to those eligible Australians, be they disadvantaged financially, geographical or otherwise, a well-structured public sector that will deliver to them a high standard of dental care. The public sector is also an essential component in the dental treatment of special needs patients who require the services of special facilities and staff”.

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