Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) has just released data showing the uptake of public oral health care services across Victoria, and the results are pretty poor. The data released covers the access numbers for oral health services and other dental health initiatives across north-western Melbourne, eastern Melbourne, south-east Melbourne, Gippsland, Murray, and Western Victoria.
In the north-western Melbourne Primary Health Network (PHN) the data showed only 26 per cent of those eligible for public oral health care had accessed a public dental clinic. A worrying statistic, with the results revealing that children in this area aged naught- to eight-years-old had higher amounts of untreated decay than the Victorian average.
Uptake is so low that highest uptake level for those eligible comes in at only 30 per cent, occurring in western Victoria.
Dr Deborah Cole, DHSV CEO, said the information should highlight how important it is for those eligible to utilize free services available such as those at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne.
“There are currently a good number of appointments available for children so I would urge all parents and/or guardians to make a call and put oral health on top of your priority list. With so many chronic illnesses linked to poor oral health, it is time to act and make prevention the cure,” she said.