26 May Attempts by the government to improve the oral health of the population
There have been several attempts by different governments to improve the level of Oral health of the population at large.
As we know, the dental services offered by public institutions is quite limited (like in most countries), so the governments extend the dental services through the use of private services using different mechanisms.
The last 3 schemes have been the Chronic Disease Scheme, Teen Vouchers and currently the CDBS (Child Dental Benefit Scheme). In addition to that, some services are available through the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) and patients are also regularly offered “vouchers” by various Hospitals or Community Health Centres, so that these vouchers are taken to a Private Dentist registered in the respective Area Health Service.
Without going into minute details, all these attempts to improve the Oral Health of the Community have been to some extent successful. Particularly when all of this is compared to the existing situation in some other developed countries.
If all of this is coupled with good education and the practice of good oral health measures; we should have in theory quite a high standard of oral health.
Having said that, we have received news in several occasions and through different networks that the current CDBS will cease by the end of this financial year.
Comparing this program with previous ones; It is quite a good program that targets children and young people up to the age of 18 years and it is means tested. In other words, it takes in consideration the income from the parent(s) or guardians.
Apparently, this scheme is going to be substituted by an increase in the budget of public services. By this, we understand that more money is going to be poured into the dental departments of the different hospitals or Community Centers.
We don’t know if the scope of dental services in those centres is going to be broadened (currently the services are quite limited) and how they are intending to deal with a large number of potential patients given that they already have a long waiting list.
This commentary doesn’t intend to be political in any way, it is a strict observation of how the oral health of the population is being addressed.
If you have an opportunity to raise your voice or ask questions to any authority, please do so. The worst thing is to show indifference through our own silence.
Until the month of June