The new consumer-focused foundational document outlines the existing oral health challenges faced in Victoria and how the organisation plans to overcome them.
“Our Strategic Direction sets out DHSV’s vision for a future where every Victorian is disease and cavity-free, and how we plan to achieve it,” DHSV chief executive officer Sue McKee said.
“It places patients at the centre of a new, more advanced and effective oral health system that will enable us to make a real difference to the lives of Victorians.”
The Strategic Direction sets out three key pillars to achieve this vision:
Empower: Focus on prevention and early intervention
Care: Deliver world-class oral and dental healthcare
Lead: Reform, build and improve oral healthcare through key partnerships.
The challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic have significantly impacted the ability of Victorians to access regular and routine treatment. Throughout the pandemic, DHSV has continued to provide urgent and emergency care to those most in need. The latest figures reveal that 93 per cent of the eligible population aged 18-64 and more than 25 per cent of 0–4-year-old children presenting to public dental clinics have dental decay.
“Oral disease is among the most prevalent diseases in our community—and yet it is also one of the most preventable,” DHSV Board chair David Stevenson said.
“By empowering Victorians to make positive changes at home and change behaviours, by providing world-class care for those in need and improving access, and by leading reform with our partners, we will make real change.”
Collaboration and consultation were key to the development of the organisation’s bold new vision.
“Our Strategic Direction is the epitome of a group effort. The insights and feedback provided by our Board, senior management, staff, consumers, and partners, including the Victorian Department of Health, community dental agencies, universities, and leading healthcare bodies, have been incredibly valuable,” Stevenson added.
“Our vision is bold yet pragmatic and evidence-based. We’re excited to make it a reality and are ready to get to work.”