There is every reason to be optimistic that the new Labor government will work with the nation’s peak dental body to fix the broken dental system for people in aged care.
Labor promised in a letter written before polling day, that it would work with the Australian Dental Association (ADA) to improve training for aged care workers, so it includes an oral health component.
“The ADA congratulates the new Labor government and looks forward to its new Cabinet delivering on the undertaking to work with us,” said ADA President Dr Mark Hutton.
“Labor has said it understands the importance of oral health to elderly Australians and acknowledges the relevant recommendation of the Aged Care Royal Commission’s Final Report.
“Further, they wrote to us saying that an Albanese Labor Government would engage with relevant stakeholders, including the ADA, to address issues with aged care vocational and university education programs, the Aged Care Quality Standards and other regulations relating to oral health needs in residential aged care.
“This is great news and will go a long way to fixing some of the biggest issues facing the 190,000 residents of aged care facilities around Australia, many of whose oral health issues are not being met as often as they should be, or not at all.”
Dr Hutton added: “Within the next few weeks, the ADA will be contacting all relevant members of parliament to ask for their support in pushing for these and other advocacy issues which will improve the oral health of older Australians – primarily to back a Seniors Dental Benefits Schedule to fund dental care delivered by private and public dental services to older Australians who need it most.”