The Dental Hygienists Association of Australia (DHAA) and the Australian Dental & Oral Health Therapists’ Association (ADOHTA) welcome the extension of the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Adult Public Dental Services which was originally expiring on 30 June 2020.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt recently announced the extension of the NPA by a year, temporarily ending the uncertainty of the public sector dentistry for adults.
“The extra time bought with the extension could be utilised productively for a new agreement to address the current service gaps, as well as focusing more on preventative measures and developing innovative models of care,” DHAA national president Cheryl Dey said.
DHAA and ADOHTA both agree that now the necessary restrictions on dental services during the pandemic are easing, the community’s oral health has never been so important.
“Many Australians are unable to afford dental care and the NPA plays a crucial role in providing dental care to adults,” ADOHTA president Leticia Masters said.
“The government should also capitalise on the opportunity created by the COAG Health Committee’s approved changes to the scope of practice of dental hygienists, dental therapists and oral health therapists by fully utilising the dental workforce to help ease the pressure on dental services.”
Both women also expressed the strong desire of DHAA and ADOHTA to work with the government to trial innovative models of care to fill these service gaps, particularly at rural and remote locations and aged care facilities.