Thousands more waiting for dental care across Hume
08 December 2016
Thousands of people across north-east Victoria are now waiting more than a year to see a dentist, new data shows.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan has expressed concern about the blowout in waiting lists which has occurred over the past two years.
“Waiting lists across the Hume region have doubled since June 2014,” Ms Ryan said.
In June 2014 there were 4503 people waiting to see a dentist in the Hume region. As of June 2016, that number had blown out to 9137.
The waiting list has come to light through an Auditor-General’s review of access to public dental services which was tabled in Parliament this week.
“Even waiting a few days to see a dentist can feel like a lifetime if you have a toothache or are experiencing some kind of pain,” Ms Ryan said.
“Many people in north-east Victoria are waiting not just days, but months and in some cases years to see a dentist.
Across the Hume region:
- Goulburn Valley Health - people are waiting more than 9.5 months to see a dentist while those who require denture care must wait an average of 15 months.
- Seymour Health - people are waiting almost 18 months to see a dentist while those who require denture care must wait 11 months.
- Northeast Health - people are waiting an average of almost 15 months to see a dentist while those who require denture care must wait 19 months.
“People in our region are waiting longer for routine dental care under the Andrews Government which means people are at risk of having problems worsen, even leading to chronic disease,” Ms Ryan said.
“The Auditor General noted that the state government has historically been responsible for providing the majority of funding for public dental services. Since 2013, the Commonwealth has provided additional top-up funding through a National Partnership Agreement.
“Instead of blaming the Commonwealth, the Andrews Government needs to put its money where its mouth is,” Ms Ryan said.
To read the Auditor General’s report in full visit http://www.audit.vic.gov.au/publications/20161107-Dental-Services/20161107-Dental-Services.pdf