Government finds funds for Indigenous oral health

The oral health of indigenous children is significantly worse than the national average.

A new mobile dental van and equipment will help provide better dental health care to Aboriginal people in the far north west of South Australia, the Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, announced yesterday. Dental health among Aboriginal children is far poorer than the Australian average. Last year, the national health statistics body said five in every six remote Northern Territory children had tooth decay, missing teeth or fillings.

Whilst visiting Pukatja or Ernabella in the Anangu-Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, Mr Snowdon launched the Nganampa Health Council’s new dental van.

“The previous mobile dental service vehicle had reached the end of its life after travelling more than 110,000 kilometres on outback roads since 1993.

“This mobile dental service vehicle will ensure dental health professionals are able to reach people scattered across the APY Lands so they can get the high quality dental care they need.

“The importance of healthy teeth can not be underestimated, as we know poor dental health is often linked with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory problems,” he said.

The Australian Government provided $276,650 to buy and fit out the new van and is also providing $144,562 for mobile dental equipment for use in the APY Lands.

“This funding will be used to purchase mobile dental equipment that can be transported by 4WD and set up in aged care facilities or clinics where existing mobile clinics may be impractical or impossible to set up,” he said.

The Minister congratulated the Nganampa Health Council, an Aboriginal owned and controlled health organisation, for providing health services to almost 3,000 residents spread out over 105,000 square kilometres.

“I acknowledge the great work of the Nganampa Health Council and their health staff for their contribution to this great dental service. You do a very important job for your community,” he said

The funding has been provided through round one of the National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP) and the Indigenous Dental Services in Rural and Regional Areas program.


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  1. Hi could you tell me how and if you can get involved with this service (NRRHP) I am a Dental Hygienist currently working in NSW. Your help and direction is appreciated
    regards peter

  2. Funding the ambulance to wait for the casualties to fall over the cliff is not only costly and inefficient, it destroys quality of life for a beautiful people that deserve better. When will we empower, in culturally appropriate terms, the ability for our fellow Australians to keep their mouths healthy?

  3. My 12 yr old daughter is of aboriginal origin
    she really needs dental braces. I can not afford
    the payments….is there any way I can get some funding
    or something, please!


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