National Oral Health Alliance seeks commitment to a 5-step plan to save decaying dental care

13 August 2010

The National Oral Health Alliance has written to all political parties urging them to adopt a five-step program, REPAIR, to address the chronically poor state of oral health in Australia.

Over 7 million Australians report they cannot access dental services when they need them. Poor oral health is almost entirely preventable and impacts seriously on other aspects of health and on general wellbeing.

REPAIR provides the building blocks to immediately improve access to dental services while also improving investment in better oral health and emphasising prevention in the longer term.

To REPAIR oral health, governments need to:

1. RE‐vitalise the system;

2. Focus on Prevention and oral health promotion;

3. Improve Access to services;

4. Improve workforce capacity and distribution; and

5. Undertake Research, monitoring and evaluation.

The NOHA believes that an improved oral health system will contribute to greater equity overall in Australia’s health system.

“It makes no sense in health terms to quaratine the mouth from the rest of the body,” said Tony McBride, Chair, Australian Health Care Reform Alliance.

“Members of the National Oral Health Alliance believe that oral services should be part of the primary care system. With broad community agreement that policy and funding responsibility for all of primary care rests at a federal government level, we need to hear how a future government would improve Australians’ oral health,” said Prue Power, Executive Director, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association.

The National Oral Health Alliance comprises community, dental and health organisations who are seeking solutions to the poor access to oral services and the poor oral health outcomes experienced by many Australians.

Read the full proposal here: REPAIR: A proposal for the Federal Election from the National Oral Health Alliance

Media Contacts:

Clare Cameron, Australian Council of Social Service, 0419 626 155
Julie Satur, Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association, 0438 776 046
Neil Hewson, President, Australian Dental Association, 0419 344 587
Tony McBride, Chair, Australian Health Care Reform Alliance, 0407 531 468
Prue Power, Executive Director, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, 0417 419 857

www.oralhealth.asn.au  
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Members: Australian Council of Social Service; Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association; Australian Dental Association; Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association; Australian Health Care Reform Alliance; Australian Nursing Federation; Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health; Brotherhood of St Laurence; Dental Hygienists’ Association of Australia Inc; Health Issues Centre; National Rural Health Alliance; Public Health Association Australia.