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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin November 2011
18 NOVEMBER 2011 IT AIn’T nECESSARILY SO Sir, surely I am not the only dentist that is sick to the back teeth from reading newspaper articles by dentist bashing journalists that quote dry finger experts and so-called research on the ‘perceptions’ of low income Australians about the affordability of their dental care. The recent Fairfax Press (October 3) quoted Ipsos study and the National Dental Telephone Interview Survey both are clipboard surveys of patient perceptions that only prove that opinion is not fact. Motivated by a search for a study of genuine scientific value I have consulted the Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS) survey of household expenditure for 2003/04 and their most recent survey for 2009/10. I am sure that many of my colleagues will have similar experiences to mine where the social security recipient is in need of urgent dental care. Their tooth broke a year ago and has been hurting for the past six weeks. They sit in the chair and you note the expensive hairdo, the tattoos and the tongue, lip and ear piercings. Their child, who is dressed in expensive OshKosh designer clothing for kids, sits in the corner alternately playing with the latest iPhone and the Nintendo Wii while complaining that the batteries are flat in their glow- in-the-dark sneakers. You suggest an extraction and advise that they shouldn’t smoke for the next three days and they tell you that it can’t be done as they could not cut back from a pack a day. But I digress and must return to my search for irrefutable scientific fact about the affordability of basic dental care for low income Australians. These surveys prove what people DO and are not surveys of what they SAY. The table shows the spending figures for low income households from the last two ABS household expenditure surveys (2003/04 and 2009/10) and the increase in weekly Letters to the Letters are published at the Editor’s discretion and customary editorial rights are reserved. We request that letters be brief, of interest to the general membership and signed. Letters published are an expression of a personal point of view of the writer and are not necessarily representative of the policies or opinions of the Australian Dental Association Inc. feedback Editor ABS ITEM ABS Reference No 03/04 09/10 Biscuits 0301030201 $1.88 $2.44 Confectionery 030903 $4.66 $6.03 Soft Drinks 031001 $1.89 $2.72 Coffee 0310030201 $0.99 $1.31 Meals Out / Fast Food 0311 $13.11 $20.00 Alcoholic Beverages 04 $8.77 $10.76 Tobacco 05 $7.33 $8.03 Mobile Phone Contracts 0801030102 $2.58 $4.17 Gambling 110201 $3.67 $4.22 Holidays Overseas 110302 $4.71 $11.08 Pet Expenses 1104 $4.44 $6.41 Pay TV – Foxtel etc. 1102999901 $1.31 $2.58 Internet Connection 1102999902 $1.01 $3.09 TOTALS $56.35 $82.84 INCREASE $26.49 spending over the intervening six years for a number of items I would consider to be non-essentials of life. Low income households spend $3.46 per week on dental fees as opposed to the $13.46 that high income households spend each week. I would encourage my colleagues to develop a healthy skepticism about the spurious and grossly inaccurate proposition propounded by those dry finger armchair commentators who persist in repeating the unsupported statement that low income Australians cannot afford basic dental care. It is simply not true. People who neglect their own dental health know that someone is to blame. They cannot accept that is their own fault and so are only too willing to tell clipboard researchers that they didn’t go to the dentist because they couldn’t afford it. Jeremy Rourke Port Macquarie 2444 MEMBERS READ THE NEWS BULLETIN ON YOUR iPAD As part of the ADA’s ongoing program to improve services to members, the News Bulletin is now available for the iPad. As with the online version it is available through the ADA web site www.ada.org.au. No special software is required to be downloaded or installed because the application automatically identifies iPads and loads the appropriate version of the Bulletin. To access the iPad version: • Logon to the members section ADA.org.au using an iPad • Select ‘Publications’ and then News Bulletin • Select current issue or any issue required (back to August 2010). The iPad version of the News Bulletin will automatically open up on your iPad • As with the browser based version, instructions on how to operate the News Bulletin on the iPad are displayed on the first page. Ce l ebrat i ngover40yearsofpub li cat i on Australian D entalA ssociationInc. PrintPost Approved PP238801/00003 ISSN0810-7440 The Professional Leader in Dentistry Den t a l Boa r do f Au str a li a r e mi nde rf o rr eg istr a ti onMe l bou r neCong r e ss 2013Ma r kyou r d i a ri e s no w! Bu si ne ss p l an sf o r st a rti ngap r ac ti ce Nove m ber2011No 404
ADA News Bulletin October 2011
ADA News Bulletin December 2011