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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin August 2010
20 AUGUST 2010 The ADA believes improved access to dental care is an essential requirement of the Australian health system. Poor oral health can affect a person's employment opportunities, self-esteem, and exacerbate other chronic diseases. It is vital to improve dental accessibility so that all Australians have access to oral health care. At present, approximately 7 million Australians cannot access dental care when they need it. The ADA is calling for targeted funding for the provision of services to those in greatest financial and oral health need, to achieve oral health equity for all Australians. The group identified by the ADA as needing the most urgent attention includes: the financially disadvantaged, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons, people living in remote and regional communities and those with special needs. The major issues to be addressed include: DENTALACCESS The ADA proposed to Government, DentalAccess, an affordable, equitable programme to deliver long-term, quality, dental health services to those in greatest financial and oral health need. A targeted approach will see massive improvements in the overall dental health of the community as opposed to a universal approach which will provide only basic services and a band-aid solution. A universal approach will not serve the needs of those Australians who are already disadvantaged when it comes to oral health. NATIONAL FOUNDATION YEAR The ADA would like to see the progressive introduction of a National Foundation Year (NFY) -- an intern scheme for dental graduates to complete prior to full registration. The NFY will provide a significant learning experience for new graduates by exposing them to the provision of care in rural and public settings, as well as special needs dentistry and rotations in a hospital setting. The key to the implementation of the NFY will be proper resourcing which requires adequate and equitable funding to raise the public dental services to an acceptable standard both in infrastructure and workforce. Properly resourced, the public dental sector would then be able to provide high quality, ongoing comprehensive dental care, attracting capable dental professionals whilst acting as a foundation to practice for new graduates in a post-graduate clinical placement year. ORAL HEALTH PROMOTION Further funding should be directed towards federal oral health promotion programmes based on individual responsibility, as decay, gum disease and some oral cancers are almost entirely preventable. Any dental scheme must have requirements for behaviour change where dental decay and periodontal disease are proven risks. The ADA has written to the major political parties seeking responses to our Top 10 election questions. Answers will then be compiled into the ADA Federal Election 2010 Report Card, which will be available on the ADA website shortly. We urge the parties to provide for significant investments in dental care targeted towards the disadvantaged. Stephanie Scallion Research and Policy Analyst For further information about the ADA's 2010 Election wish list see 20 July 2010 Media Release: The ADA Places Dental Care For Disadvantaged Australians on the Election Agenda. http://www.ada.org.au/newsroom/ article,documentid,242715.aspx Federal Election 2010
ADA News Bulletin September 2010