Labor gives Warrnambool a toothache.

5th October 2023

Labor gives Warrnambool a toothache.

Roma Britnell MP, Member for South West Coast, raised in Parliament the shocking state of the public dental system in Warrnambool under Labor.

This comes after the Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch revealed South West Coast has an average wait time for general dental care in the public dental system of 38.1 months. This is a threefold increase on the 13.8 months that the average waiting time was in 2014. In addition, the average wait time is also over a year longer than the current statewide average of 16.9 months.

Ms Britnell stated, “in the three years the patient is waiting, they will often endure extreme pain, and I have been contacted by constituents who describe their suffering to me”.

“We are talking about important treatments to relieve the pain that the almost 4,000 South West Coast patients on the waiting list face. Pain that prevents them from eating certain foods, keeps them up at night and impacts their wider health” Ms Britnell said.

“Historically, South West Coast has not been an outlier for dental waiting lists. During the last Liberal Government waiting times for general dental care from the public dental system in South West Coast were 14 months, only one month higher than Victoria’s statewide average. Under a decade of Labor, this waiting list has increased almost three hundred percent and is now 19 months higher than the state average” Ms Britnell stated.

“The pandemic is not an excuse,” said Ms Britnell. “The wait time in South West Coast almost doubled between 2015 and 2019, to more than two years” Ms Britnell stated.

“I have spoken with dentists in my area, and facilities are not the issue,” said Ms Britnell. “Warrnambool has five dental treatment chairs, yet currently less than two chairs can be used on a full-time basis due to a lack of staff. The Government have done nothing to attract and incentivise dentists to Warrnambool” Ms Britnell continued.

“In 2014 over 9,000 patients in South West Coast were treated, this total is now under 7,000 patients per year. It is solely the failure of Labor that South West Coast residents are in this position, and Labor must act immediately” Ms Britnell said.

[ENDS]

 

Roma Britnell MP

Member for South West Coast

Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight

Shadow Minister for Child Protection

Shadow Minister for Boating and Fishing

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