INDEPENDENT NEWS

School Dental Clinics under threat

Published: Thu 2 Sep 1999 01:19 PM
The school dental health service, which is already badly fragmented, is under further threat, Labour health spokesperson Annette King revealed today.
"Many school dental clinics have been badly neglected through lack of resources. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education are now reviewing the clinics' futures.
"One of the options being considered is a transfer of responsibility for maintenance from Education to Health, with variations allowed to "encourage resource utilisation change".
"That's bureaucrat-speak which means the most out-dated rundown clinics are likely to be closed, rather than being modernised.
"The Health Minister Wyatt Creech has the HFA's Oral Health Strategy on his desk and it was due for public release several weeks ago. What's the hold-up?
"I believe the Minister will try and soften the blow of closing school dental health clinics by announcing $100,000 will be spent on oral health projects. But it is the comprehensive provision of school-based services that is the foundation of a successful system. National's tampering with the School Dental System has led to deterioration in the dental health standards of our children.
"Labour believes the principle of comprehensive school-based services is vital in ensuring full enrolment and wide coverage. In addition we will ensure dental therapists are registered to ensure safe standards. Labour is keen to see an extension of the use of dental therapists, working in a team approach. One of the new Health Goals the next Labour Government would like to establish is improving the dental health status of New Zealanders, especially children and adolescents.
"The shrinking number of dental therapists are continuing to do a wonderful job, but they are not receiving the support they require," Annette King said. "The National Government has failed to make the necessary investment in dental health. We are now seeing the results - mouths full of rotting teeth."

Next in New Zealand politics

Gordon Campbell on the Commerce Commission fuel report
By: Gordon Campbell
Bill to allow licensed premises to stay open for RWC matches
By: New Zealand Government
KiwiBuild programme losing another top boss
By: RNZ
Helping our cities grow up and out
By: New Zealand Government
Ngāpuhi elder 'shocked' by conditions at Ngawha Prison
By: RNZ
Independent election policy costing unit a step closer
By: New Zealand Government
Primary and intermediate principals vote to accept new offer
By: NZEI
Breach of 'journalistic privilege' during unlawful search
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
BSA releases decisions on coverage of mosque attacks
By: Broadcasting Standards Authority
UPDATE: Lack of fuel competition may be costing $400m
By: BusinessDesk
Breaking wholesale stranglehold on petrol supply
By: BusinessDesk
Commission releases draft report on retail fuel market
By: Commerce Commission
CommComm report will lead to more regulation, but same price
By: ACT New Zealand
MTA pumped with fuel market study findings
By: Motor Trade Association
Oil reserves budget blow out reason for quiet levy increase
By: NZ Energy and Environment Business Week
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media