Dental Health Needs in West | Adjournment

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My adjournment matter is directed to the Honourable Martin Foley MP, Minister for Health, Minister for Ambulance Services and Minister for Equality in the other place. My adjournment matter relates to the minister’s portfolio responsibility for health. In December 2021 the Victorian government announced a boost for dental catch-up care. The $27 million package was announced to deliver more check-ups and treatments right across Victoria and intended to run until June this year. 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. 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. I understand that this dental funding was part of the Victorian government’s $91 million investment over four years for responding to community-based healthcare demand, which has increased because of deferred care during the pandemic.

Poor oral health can result in people experiencing pain and developing other serious health problems. It is extremely important that all Victorians have access to regular dental care when they need it. Long waiting times for dental care can also result in existing dental problems worsening. The action I seek from the minister is to provide me with an update on how many residents from the Western Metropolitan Region have benefited from this initiative to date and to advise me on what support will be available to my residents in Western Metropolitan Region beyond June 2022 to support them with their dental health needs.