'The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association welcomes Victorian Labor's $395.8 million 4-year commitment to school dental services', AHHA Strategic Programs Director Dr Chris Bourke said.
Dr Bourke says re-introducing a school-based public dental service using mobile dental vans to visit every public school in Victoria will reach many children who currently miss out on dental care.
'In Australia, 25% of children have untreated decayed teeth. And every year thousands of children require a visit to hospital and a general anaesthetic to manage decay that has gotten out of control. 'Timely treatment can reduce these preventable hospitalisations and lessen the impact of dental disease on children and their families.
'As a former school dentist myself, I know that reaching out to children and families through schools is a very effective way to improve access to dental care.
'The Victorian Government is pointing the way forward to improved dental health rather than the worsening situation we have seen, especially in kids, in recent years.
'Oral disease is one of the most common and expensive diseases to treat, but it is also the most preventable.
'Accordingly, AHHA now urges the Commonwealth and the other States and Territories to follow suit and step up their commitment to public dental health services for both kids and adults.'
More information about the AHHA is available at ahha.asn.au.
The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, and community and primary healthcare services.