Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Community health dentists set to take unprecedented strike action

Community health dentists are taking unprecedented strike action on Wednesday 22 August.

Dentists employed in Victorian community health centres are the lowest paid public sector dentists in Australia. They're paid 40% less than their interstate counterparts, their EBA expired 14 months ago and they're fed up with unacceptable waiting times that their patients have to endure for public dental care.

Victoria’s public dental system is in crisis. A new interactive map released by the ADAVB, exposed waiting times of up to four years for vulnerable Victorians. Less than 20 per cent of eligible Victorians are accessing care annually and there are more than 150,000 languishing on waiting lists. The current average waiting time for general dental care is 19.7 months, an increase of 67 per cent since 2014/15.

ADAVB President Dr Kevin Morris said that while people are waiting for public dental care, existing dental problems can worsen, and as a result lead to emergency care being needed. This means that just over one third of all courses of care are for emergency treatment rather than routine care, which puts more strain on the public system.

“The ADAVB is calling on both the State and Federal Governments to support an increase in funding, with a target to double the number of patients being treated on a yearly basis to 800,000 by 2023/24. This would represent approximately 29 per cent of the eligible population,” Dr Morris said.

Dentists are frustrated at the lack of recognition by the Victorian Government for the critical dental care they provide to disadvantaged Victorians. It's time to #RespectPublicDentistry.

Media release

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