WA to benefit as Greens secure biggest reform for dental health in a generation
07 May 2012 | Rachel Siewert
Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for WA says the Greens have successfully negotiated for an overhaul of Australia’s dental system beginning with an immediate cash injection to combat public dental waiting lists.
Greens leader Christine Milne, Health spokesperson Senator Richard Di Natale and Greens MP Adam Bandt announced the package today.
"The Greens have been working towards dental reform for many years and I am very pleased with today's announcement and what it will mean for people across WA," Senator Siewert said.
"This is the beginning of a move towards a universal dental scheme that will ensure everyone has access to dental care and will improve longer term health outcomes by reducing chronic disease.
"I am particularly excited by the fact that this scheme will include an immediate spending boost to reduce the State public dental waiting lists.
"Waiting lists in WA, both in metropolitans and regional areas are far too long and this will deliver real outcomes to people around the state.
"The package will also see over $150 million go towards the expansion of the dental workforce and training measures with a focus on getting more dentists into regional Australia.
"The measures are consistent with the National Dental Advisory Council report and over the coming months we hope to work with government to build on this investment.
"A new national dental scheme is one of the most significant reforms to Australia’s health system in a generation and today we've taken a giant step towards that goal," Senator Siewert concluded.