Vic government supports innovation

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Health minister David Davis

The Victorian Health Minister David Davis, this week launched the inaugural Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) Research and Innovation Grants Showcase. The event showcased ten research projects funded by DHSV to improve the oral health of the population.

The Minister said, “The DHSV Research and Innovation Grants Program is a key part of the work to improve the oral health status of Victorians and I believe it will pay long term dividends.”

The Minister’s presence at the showcase was appreciated by public oral health professionals who witness first-hand the burden of poor oral health on Victoria’s vulnerable population. The new CEO of DHSV, Dr Deborah Cole, stressed the importance of research in improving oral health, “It is important that we have a strong evidence base to support the clinical services that we provide and we need to continually be finding better ways to improve oral health. The Research and Innovation Grants Program is one of the steps DHSV is taking to build that evidence base.”

The 2011-12 State Budget has allocated funds to improve the oral hygiene of children between up to three years of age and encourage dental practitioners to relocate to country areas. The Minister highlighted these initiatives, while acknowledging that there is a lot more work to be done. “I believe this investment will help, and I say no more than help because I am not under any illusions about the challenges we face in delivering dental services across the State.”

The Minister also took the opportunity to launch the Department of Health’s new Evidence-based oral health promotion resource—a practical summary for policy development and program implementation.

Following the Minister’s address, the recipients of the DHSV Research and Innovation Grants shared their project outcomes with the attentive audience of academics and health industry professionals.

The projects funded by the DHSV Research and Innovation Grants Program over recent years represent identified priority areas for the public dental sector. Projects included an investigation into why people on public dental care waiting lists do not access services as well as an evaluation of oral health care training for carers in residential aged care facilities.

The project findings highlighted the importance of integrating oral health promotion into the general health sector as well as the need for the health system to respond effectively to Australia’s increasing and ageing population.

Dental diseases are estimated to cost Australia $6.7 billion per year, with over one million lost work days per year. Despite being largely preventable, dental caries is the most prevalent chronic disease affecting Australian children and a staggering 25 per cent of Australian adults have some level of untreated dental disease, causing significant economic and social burden.

For more information on the DHSV Research and Innovation Grants Program, please go to www.dhsv.org.au.

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. How is it possible for such a well concieved plan to be perverted to horrific failure of even the slightest mention of periodontal disease?

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