SA Dental patients to be seen sooner under new deal

More of them will get more oral health attention.
More of them will get more oral health attention.

The South Australian Health Minister has announced more dental patients will be able to be seen sooner after South Australia signed a National Partnership Agreement with the Federal Government. Health Minister Jack Snelling said the new plan, worth more than $27 million over three years, provided the best deal for South Australia.

“The new plan outlines a range of activity aimed at reducing existing waiting lists and providing help for people at risk of oral health problems,” Mr Snelling said.

“The South Australian Government signed the conditional agreement with the Commonwealth Government at the start of the year, providing our support to the National Partnership Agreement.

“Since then, we have been in detailed discussions with the Commonwealth to make a deal that would have the biggest impact on dental services in South Australia.

“We’re looking to roll out these additional services immediately, and it’s anticipated that waiting lists for public dental treatment will fall significantly in the coming months.

“Currently, the average waiting time across the state is approximately 12.5 months, and we’re expecting that to reduce to around seven or eight months by the end of the year.”

By the end of May 2013 SA Dental Service will have mailed out 11,000 letters offering general dental care to people on public waiting lists, a five-fold increase over the normal rate of flow of 2000 offers per month.

The commencement of these additional services will assist in reducing dental waiting lists which have grown in recent months due to the closure of the Commonwealth’s Chronic Disease Dental Scheme.

Mr Snelling said South Australia already has one of the most efficient public dental services in the country and the additional services would help to replace the Commonwealth’s program.

“We want to ensure South Australians have access to public dental care when they need it, and these additional services will help that continue.”

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