ADIA congratulates Senators of the Inquiry into the Provision of and Access to Dental Services in Australia
We asked them and they listened!
During the consultation period for the Senate Select Committee Inquiry into Dental Services in Australia, an alliance of 14 peak oral health organisations initiated by ADIA sent an Open Letter to Senate Committee Chair, Senator Jordon Steele-John, urging the Committee to make a recommendation for the Appointment of a Commonwealth Chief Oral Health Officer. The Commonwealth Chief Oral Health Officer’s role would be to drive a coordinated national approach to Australia’s Oral Health via a new roadmap for the provision of and access to Dental Services. ADIA is pleased to report this request has been heard and the appointment of a Chief Dental and Oral Health Officer appears in Recommendations 4 and 33 in the Final Report1 released yesterday.
Pictured L-R: Ms Stephanie Wells (ADIA), Senator Fatima Payman (Deputy Chair), Senator Jordon Steele-John (Chair), Dr Sarah Raphael (ADIA)
This appointment is pivotal to the success of all the other key recommendations that have been put in place to address the desperately needed improvements in oral health in Australia.
The latest release of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data on Oral Health2 last week, confirms that cost continues to be a barrier to access for oral healthcare for many Australians. This leads on to the shocking statistics that show that approximately 80,000 people living in Australia undergo hospitalisation for dental conditions each year that could have largely been prevented with regular, comprehensive preventive oral healthcare. This rate of potentially preventable hospitalisation for dental conditions is highest amongst children 5-9 years of age and is more than one-third higher for Indigenous Australians compared to Non-Indigenous Australians. With less than half of all Australians aged 15 years and over visiting a dental professional in the last 12 months, it is no wonder that Australia finds itself in a poor state of oral health!
This inquiry has once again shone a light on what we need to do to turn this around. With oral health a critical component of overall health and wellbeing, we now have solid recommendations to work towards. By improving the oral health of our nation, benefits to overall health such as lowered risk of heart disease and diabetes will result. In addition, improved oral health allows everyday Australians to smile with confidence and be free of oral pain and discomfort.
The Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) is the peak body representing the suppliers and manufacturers of products, equipment and services to Australia’s oral health practitioners. ADIA’s vision is for an industry that empowers oral health professionals to advance the health and wellbeing of all Australians. Our members provide the latest products and technology to the oral health profession to enable wider access to oral healthcare, especially in rural and remote populations, aged care and disability settings.
The ADIA wishes to thank Senators Jordon Steele-John, Fatima Payman, Ross Cadell, Wendy Askew and Marielle Smith for their important work towards improvements in oral health for all Australians. We hope the Australian Government listens to the crucial recommendations and agrees to work with the Oral Health profession to make equitable access to oral health for all Australians a reality.
For media enquiries, please contact email@example.com or phone Dr Sarah Raphael on 0412 918 848.