Community, welfare and health groups have banded together to urge the Victorian Government to act on the parlous state of public dental funding, in light of new data showing a dramatic increase in public dental waiting lists to 19.5 months, up 4.5 months in the last year. The Victorian Oral Health Alliance (VOHA) is concerned that a lack of emphasis on oral health policy is having a broader impact on health and well-being in the community.
Although significant gains in oral health have been achieved over recent decades, there is still a strong association between poor oral health and disadvantage. Poor oral health can cause pain, difficulty eating and speaking, social isolation, missing school or work, and difficulty in getting a job. We call on the Victorian Government to ensure a strong and sustainable public dental sector, which can respond to the community’s oral health needs, through adequate and predictable funding.