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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 522..


Dental health services

(Question No 9)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 11 December 2001:

In relation to the Government dental health service:

(1) How many people are on the waiting list for attention.

(2) What is the average waiting time for (a) non-urgent problems and (b) urgent problems.

(3) How many people are awaiting (a) initial denture provision, and (b) denture replacement.

(4) What is the average waiting time for dentures to be (a) initially fitted and provided, and (b) repaired or replaced.

Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member's question is:

The Government dental health service provides services to both children and adults.

For the children's dental service there are currently no waiting lists. The only exception is children who require a general anaesthetic for dental care. These bookings are dependent on available operating theatre sessions at The Canberra Hospital, Calvary Hospital or Lydia Perrin Hospital.

The following answers to your questions relate to the adult dental health service.

(1) How many people are on the waiting list for attention.

Currently (at 13 December 2001), there are 3,540 adults on the restorative waiting list.

(2) What is the average waiting time for (a) non-urgent problems and (b)

urgent problems.

(a) For non-urgent clients, the current waiting time is 18 months.

The 2001-2002 budget provided an additional $1.0m to support the reduction of waiting lists for restorative services. Half of this funding is to be allocated to recruiting additional dental teams and half for referring clients out to private dentists. As a result, additional dental teams have been recruited and extra clients are being referred to private practitioners.

Activity in the adult dental service is running at over 30% the level achieved at this time last year. A downward trend in waiting times has resulted. It is estimated that the current waiting time for restorative dentistry will be halved by the end of the current financial year.


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