The Minister for Health today announced that the Andrews Labor Government is investing more than $207 million in public dental services in 2015-16.
This funding will provide dental treatment to over 332,000 eligible patients this year, and includes more than $3.7 million to upgrade equipment at more than 40 public dental clinics across the State.
The upgrades include 25 new sterilisers, 17 x-ray machines and 73 more modern dental chairs.
Public dental clinics will also benefit from upgrades to digital radiography equipment, which will mean dentists can quickly share images with other clinicians and doctors.
This new equipment will mean higher quality care, improved safety and better outcomes for patients, with advances in modern technology able to deliver better diagnosis and quicker treatment of dental conditions.
The Labor Government is investing in Victoria’s health system so that more patients can get the care they need when they need it.
In contrast, the Federal Abbott Government has slashed funding for public dental services.
The National Partnership Agreement on Adult Public Dental Services was supposed to provide Victoria $220 million over three years, however this was cut in the recent Federal Budget to just $38.5 million for one year only.
These federal funding cuts will see 214,400 fewer Victorians receiving dental care this year, and it’s not yet clear what – if any – continued funding will be provided in future years.
The failure to commit to funding beyond this financial year places even more pressure on public dental services and will see Victorians wait even longer for vital dental treatment.
The Labor Government is committed to improving dental services for Victorians because good oral health is vital to an individual’s general health and their overall sense of wellbeing and self-esteem.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“Good oral health is the foundation for good overall health, and the Andrews Labor Government is investing in new equipment and technology to ensure Victorians get the best public dental care possible, more quickly."
"We know that lack of access to timely dental care can cause conditions to worsen and can even lead to chronic disease.”
“The Abbott Government’s cuts to public dental services will see Victorians wait even longer for vital dental treatment.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020