MP praises cuts to dental waiting times

THE reduction of the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service (WBHHS) public oral health care wait list by 30% and its long wait list by 51% is a stunning achievement, Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey says.

Mr Dempsey praised the outstanding result as welcome news to many people in Bundaberg who have now received long-needed dental appointments or face a much shorter waiting time.

"Some 2700 dental vouchers were handed out to dental waiting list patients in the Wide Bay enabling them to be seen and relieving pressure on our public oral health service," Mr Dempsey said.

"The distribution of these vouchers saw the total number of people on the waiting list fall from 12,252 to 8,757 people between February and December 2013.

"While in the same reporting period, the number of people waiting two years or more for dental treatment fell from 9,291 to 4,558, a 51% reduction.

"I am pleased that so many Bundaberg people have received the dental health care they need and that those currently needing treatment have a much shorter waiting time than they would have had previously."

Mr Dempsey said the outstanding result was thanks to the commitment and dedication of the LNP Government, WBHHS management and local oral health clinic staff as they made tackling the dental waiting list a priority.

"The decision of the LNP Government to provide dental vouchers to those in need of oral care and empowering our local health board to address the waiting list has worked," Mr Dempsey said.

"I look forward to continuing improvements which will result from the Bundaberg dental clinic increasing from six to 13 chairs by 2015.

"The co-location of the dental clinic with the cancer clinic will also result in the Bundaberg facility being able to expand its special needs dental surgery, benefitting many local patients who will no longer need to travel for treatment."

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