Waiting List Blitz To Give Victorians The Dental Care They Need

23 May 2018

The Andrews Labor Government is taking action to slash dental waiting lists that have swelled because of Malcolm Turnbull’s funding cuts.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today announced a $12.1 million dental waiting list blitz to drive down delays for dental treatment.

The funding will ensure our dental services will have the resources they need to begin treating more than 18,300 people currently on a waiting list by the end of June.

Malcolm Turnbull has slashed public dental funding by 30 per cent, forcing thousands of disadvantaged Victorians to wait longer, or miss out altogether. The Liberals’ cuts, coupled with our growing population, means waiting lists have ballooned out to more than 19 months for general care and 17 months for denture care.

While the Labor Government is fast-tracking people with urgent needs to the front of the queue to avoid them being put on the waiting list, the Liberals’ cuts have meant more than 140,000 people are waiting for public dental care.

Dental conditions are the top cause of avoidable hospital admission for kids under ten, and the third highest for all age groups. In 2015/16, more than 5,500 kids had to have a general anaesthetic for preventable dental conditions.

The Labor Government's package also includes:

  • $760,000 for fluoride varnish for kids in disadvantaged communities
  • $600,000 to train dental clinics with alternative sedations to general anaesthetics
  • $720,000 for oral care education

Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals' cuts to dental funding are yet more proof you can't trust them when it comes to health care – all they do is cut.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“We're taking action to drive down dental care waiting lists right around the state, to ensure people can get the oral treatment they need, faster."

"Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals’ cuts have left our dental system in decay – and that's left people waiting too long for important treatment or missing out altogether."

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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