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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin October 2010
8 OCTOBER 2010 the 2010 eleCtiOn Where to from here? In the lead up to the 2010 election, the Australian Dental Association Inc. (ADA) wrote to the major political parties and sought answers from them on the top 10 election dental questions. Answers were received from each and their replies placed on the ADA website. A number of election media releases were issued by the ADA identifying our position and calling on the parties to adopt the DentalAccess plan along with the ADA’s Foundation (Intern) Year proposal. Those releases met their mark with the media. Many media opportunities were created for delivery of our messages. The ADA focus was to ensure that funding is concentrated on the disadvantaged (financial or geographic) to deliver to them effective and lasting dental solutions to their problems. The ADA also joined forces with a number of like-minded groups in re-establishing the National Oral Health Alliance (http://www. oralhealth.asn.au/home). This group also issued a number of media releases similar to those issued by the ADA. Again, this presented additional opportunities to present our case to the media in response. Overall, coverage of the ADA’s proposals was very pleasing with many media reporting the ADA’s views as well as numerous media interviews undertaken by the ADA President, Dr Neil Hewson and others. When the outcome of the election was known, in particular the role the independents would play, letters were sent to these politicians pointing out the ADA’s position and emphasizing the unfavourable aspects of the adoption of any ‘universal’ dental plan. Both major parties were also reminded of our position. Moreover, due to some of the independents still pushing for creation of dental care delivery under Medicare, meetings have been secured with these politicians and with other significant players in Parliament. These meetings will take place at the first opportunity. The meetings will be used as a vehicle to promote the ADA’s headline proposal – DentalAccess. This is a targeted, cost- effective model to provide comprehensive dental treatment for the 30-plus per cent of Australians who require assistance to achieve better oral health, including the financially disadvantaged, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons, people living in remote and regional communities and those with special needs. The ADA strongly believes this is the best solution to bring about equity to timely dental care. The ADA will also be advocating for the following proposals, a number of which were contained in the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission’s report A Healthier Future for All Australians: • A one-year ‘foundation’ internship year for all dental graduates, providing valuable mentoring and professional development and alleviating some shortages for public dental services; • Rural and regional incentives, scaled for remoteness, to correct the maldistribution of the dentist workforce; and • Better funding for oral health education and promotion. As we await more detail on the Government’s Commonwealth Dental Health Program, the ADA will be engaging with the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Nicola Roxon, to argue our DentalAccess proposal as well as the critical initiatives mentioned above to improve the oral health of all Australians. The ADA will be sure to keep Members up to date on any further developments. Fiona Morrisby Manager, Policy and Media Relations
ADA News Bulletin September 2010
ADA News Bulletin November 2010