Thousands waiting for public dental in the north east
15 August 2018
More than 2,600 people are waiting for general dental care in north east Victoria, according to new data released under freedom of information.
The data shows Victoria’s public dental system is plagued with excessive wait times and a failure to keep up with demand, with 152,000 Victorians waiting for treatment in May this year.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said the Andrews Labor Government was not doing enough to support public dental services in Victoria.
“Northeast Health, which includes Benalla, had 2,636 people waiting for general dental care in May this year, and an additional 205 individuals waiting for denture care,” Ms Ryan said.
“The average wait time for public general dental in Benalla is 25.5 months, more than five months longer than the already poor state average of 19.7 months.
“We should not have to accept longer wait times just because we live in rural Victoria.”
In May this year Jill Hennessy announced some additional dental funding to ‘blitz’ waiting lists before the end of the financial year saying “waiting lists have ballooned out to more than 19 months for general care and 17 months for denture care”.
However, the opposite has occurred with wait times increasing further to 19.5 months for general dental care and 17.9 months for denture care at the end of June.
“At the very least, people in Benalla deserve to know how long they are expecting to wait for dental care,” Ms Ryan said.
“The Andrews Labor Government had failed to publish detailed waiting list data, instead requiring it to be obtained under freedom of information.
“A first step would be to increase transparency and publish waiting list numbers and times by clinic so the full extent of the dental challenges are to the general public.
“The government has also failed to deliver the Oral Health Action Plan that it promised by December 2017.”