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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 2387..

Health-dental program

(Question No 1113)

Mr Smyth asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 10 May 2006:

(1) What proportion of the $278,000 allocated in the 2005-06 budget for Dental Services has been expended to date;

(2) Will all funds for this purpose be expended by the end of the current financial year; if so, when; if not, why not;

(3) Has the denture and general anaesthetic waiting list in the Dental Health Program been reduced, as promised, as a result of this additional funding; if so, by how many patients has the list been reduced; if not (a) why not and (b) what is the Minister doing to ensure the list is reduced;

(4) Has the restorative waiting list been maintained, as promised, as a result of this additional funding; if so, how many patients are currently on the list and what was the list total at the same time last year; if not, why not, what is the total number of people on the list currently compared to this time last year, and what are you doing to ensure the list is reduced;

(5) How much funding has the Dental Services program used specifically to refer additional clients on the Centralised Waiting and Recall List to private providers under the Restorative and Denture Referral Schemes, and how many clients have been referred to private providers as a result of this program;

(6) Have dental teams in the Dental Health Program been increased since the introduction of this program; if so, by how many; if not, why not, and what is the Government doing to fulfil this commitment;

(7) Have waiting times for general anaesthetic been reduced by providing treatment at Lidia Perin to provide more frequent access to dental services for higher risk and special needs groups; if so, how many clients have been referred to Lidia Perin, how has this improved the wait times and at what cost; if not, why not and has this had any detrimental impact on the waiting times for general anaesthetic;

(8) Will the $285,000 allocated for Dental Services in 2006-07 be spent for this purpose as forecast in the 2005-06 budget; if not, why not.

Ms Gallagher

: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) As at 31 May 2006, all funding allocated for external referrals to private providers and the provision of General Anaesthetic (GA's) has been expended, the remaining funding allocated for additional dental staff salaries will be fully expended on salaries in May/June 2006.

(2) Yes, all funds are currently allocated for expenditure in this financial year 2005/06.

(3) Yes, the waiting list has been reduced proportionally to the amount of funds allocated. Of the $278,000, $35,000 was allocated to the denture waiting list on average allowing an additional 38 clients to be removed from the denture waiting list. $45,000 was allocated

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