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

Wellington's public transport system to get $6.4b overhaul
By: RNZ
MSD systematically misused its investigatory powers
By: Office of the Privacy Commissioner
Safety focus in improved drug driver testing
By: New Zealand Government
Panel appointed to debrief police response to Terror Attacks
By: New Zealand Police
Gordon Campbell on the end game for the teachers strike
By: Gordon Campbell
Deputy PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference 13/5/19
By: The Scoop Team
Wellington transport announcement against Treasury advice
By: RNZ
Green light from Govt to get Wellington moving
By: New Zealand Government
New taxes aren’t the transport solution Wellington wants
By: New Zealand National Party
Freeing up City Congestion for Public Transport
By: Greater Wellington Regional Council
LGWM to deliver design-led and people-focused city
By: Let's Get Wellington Moving
Let’s Get Wellington Moving announcement welcomed
By: Kapiti Coast District Council
Let’s Get Welly Walking
By: Living Streets Aotearoa
Big Picture Looks Promising, But The Details Are Murky
By: Save the Basin Campaign
Let's Get Welly Moving hides status quo thinking
By: Dr Jenny Condie
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media