The average wait time for public dental care in Victoria has increased to 26.7 months, the worst delays in dental care this decade and Nationals MP for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, is calling for more investment from the State Government.
“It is disappointing, but not surprising, the wait times have blown out after the Andrews Government cut funds to its public dental allocation in last year’s budget, which is there for all to see,” Mr Bull said.
“What would you think the outcome of this action to be? That is why we made a very significant pre-election commitment to increase funds to the service to help address the problem.
“The Andrews Government remained silent in this area, but it is a problem they can ignore no longer.
“The average wait at Central Gippsland Health Service is 18.9 months and there is no dentist at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service currently, which is adding to the burden and worsening health outcomes of patients needing treatment.
“In some cases, we have heard from constituents who have been provided with vouchers to access to private dental services for urgent work, but there is no requirement for these vouchers be accepted and, in some cases, they have been refused, leaving the patient with a dental dilemma.
“The Government must significantly increase its public dental allocation in this year’s budget to reverse the cuts of last year and provide an improved service across the state,” Mr Bull said.