Survey Reveals Problems in Dental Care06 August 2007
A recent survey commissioned by Australia Fair highlights the difficulties many Australians face in accessing affordable dental care.
Nearly half (46%) of those surveyed reported that the cost of dental care influences their decision to see a dentist regularly and the same number reported that it would be difficult for them to pay for basic preventative treatment ($300) today.
Though 90% of respondents thought that regular visits to the dentist are important to maintain healthy teeth and mouths, 23% had not seen a dentist in over 2 years.
The survey also found that 75% of people thought that the Federal Government should at least share the funding for dental care with State Governments.
The results of the survey are consistent with other research and information indicating a crisis in access and affordability of dental care. There are an estimated 650,000 people on waiting lists for public dental care and waiting times have been reported to have been as long as seven years.
The Health Services Union urges the Federal Government to expand Medicare to cover dental services for those aged under 18 and over 65 and for people of all ages on a pension or with a health care card.
Health Services Union