Dental Health Services Victoria’s (DHSV) new strategic plan is now in the works and they’re encouraging Victorians to have their say.
The plan will cover the 2016–2021 period and Victorians can relate their views by taking a short survey online.
The survey could not come at a better time, Victorian dental health is in a critical stage with the DHSV reporting 4 in every 100 children from 0–4 years being hospitalised for dental decay.
Dr Deborah Cole, CEO of DHSV is concerned that the increasing oral health issues are further affecting overall wellbeing in Victorians.
“The backlog of untreated dental disease in adults and low levels of oral health literacy cannot be resolved with short term and disjointed programs. The current system is ineffective for those most at risk,” said Dr Cole. “Children from lower socio-economic backgrounds have 70% more decay than those from higher income families.”
Dr Cole said that previous planning with short-term federal funding had been unable to take a comprehensive approach.
“Oral health is not routinely recognised as a vital part of chronic disease management and this needs to change. Furthermore, Commonwealth funding is only guaranteed for short periods of time which doesn’t support long term planning,” said Dr Cole.
“We believe that every Victorian, no matter where they live or what they earn, should be able to live free from the pain, suffering and social stigma associated with poor oral health.”
Victorians can take the survey and have their say here: https://www.dhsv.org.au/stratplan2016-2021