Queensland data reveals five-year dental waiting list

five year dental waiting list
Depending on where you are in Queensland, you could wait up to five years for a dental appointment.

Premier Campbell Newman is continuing to deliver on the State’s ‘open data revolution’ with Queensland’s dental clinic waiting lists revealed publicly for the first time last week—and in doing so revealed thousands of Queenslanders are waiting more than five years for a public dental appointment.

“The State Government is committed to being open and transparent,” Mr Newman said when the information had been published and updated online through the Queensland Government’s Open Data website.

Newspapers quickly reported that the data showed that in Hervey Bay in southern Queensland, 2,100 people have been waiting for more than five years, and in Townsville, more than 1,000 people need an appointment and in Toowoomba, 1,200 people have spent more than five years on the waiting list.

It is a similar situation in the state’s south-east, with more than 2,000 people waiting for more than five years at Redcliffe and nearly 800 people waiting at Logan.

Australian Dental Association (ADA) Queensland president Dr Andrew Wong also told newspapers the State Government needs to employ more dentists to alleviate pressure on the public dental system.

Dr Wong also says the new Queensland Health website is “confusing”.

The Premier, however, said that “Posting this data will go a long way to helping us restore accountability and confidence in our public health system.”

The Queensland dental clinic information will detail the number of people waiting at public clinics across the State and the number of patients treated in a one month timeframe.

“The data will give a real insight into how many people are accessing public dental services and how quickly they are likely to be seen,” he said.

“For each Queensland reporting dental clinic, the information shows the number of patients waiting for an appointment by urgency category and how long they have been waiting.

“This is the latest piece of information that we have released since announcing our open data revolution.

“We have already uploaded information on specialist waiting lists and perinatal statistics, traffic and registration data, data on coal seam gas approvals, crime statistics, social housing data and flood mapping information.

“Wide-ranging state school statistics including attendance and enrolment as well as class sizes, disciplinary and absences data can also be accessed from the site.

“Information is the new currency and open access to Government data will stimulate the development of new and innovative services and solutions.

“It is also a marker for performance for all governments in the future.”

The Queensland Government’s Open Data website is here.


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