MP calls for closer look at dental funding

By Matthew Sims

Western Metropolitan MP Kaushaliya Vaghela has called for an update from Health Minister Martin Foley on how many western metropolitan residents have benefited from the state government’s $27 million package to deliver more check-ups and treatments across the state.

She raised the adjournment matter at the Legislative Council sitting on Wednesday, June 22.

Ms Vaghela said with the state government package slated to conclude support at the end of June, she also asked Mr Foley to provide an update on what further support will exist for western metropolitan residents beyond June.

“The funding was announced to help public dental providers catch up and meet increased demand for dental services, targeting waiting lists and providing immediate access to public dental services and treatment for Victorians who have delayed or deferred treatment during the pandemic,” she said.

“The package was intended to reach every corner of the state and help an additional 40,000 Victorians get the check-ups and treatments they desperately need.”

Wait times for dental care increased to more than 45 months for IPC Health patients, 43 months for cohealth patients and more than 35 months for Western Health patients in February.

Ms Vaghela said it was “extremely important” to ensure all Victorians have access to regular dental care.

“Long waiting times for dental care can also result in existing dental problems worsening,” she said.