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Greens secure dental funding boost for NSW - lowest spending state in Australia

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 6 May 2012

Australian Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon says NSW, which spends less on public dental services than any other state or territory, will reap the benefits of a package of measures worth over half a billion dollars to overhaul of Australia's dental system secured by the Greens in next week's budget.

"NSW has always been the poor cousin of a nation of very poor cousins when it comes to dental care services, particularly rural and regional NSW," Senator Rhiannon said.

"The agreement between the Greens and Labor to secure minority government, and the community outcry about access to dental services,  has allowed us to secure  $515.3 million, over four years for dental health.

"There is around one public clinic per 23,065 people eligible for public dental services in NSW, compared to between 1,700-1,750 private dental practices across the state.

"This funding boost will allow us to reduce NSW's public dental waiting lists and expand the dental workforce.

"The Greens have also secured infrastructure relocation grants to support dentists set up practices to cut shortages of dental services in rural and remote areas of NSW.

"We know that people living in rural and regional NSW suffer more decay, have less frequent check ups, are forced to travel long distances to see a dentist and wait longer to see a private dentist.

"This is a big leap towards a new national dental scheme that the Greens will continue to work towards to secure universal access to dental care," Senator Rhiannon said.

Full details of package here.

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