The National Alliance for Oral Health says 650,000 people are on waiting lists for public dental care, with an average wait of 27 months.
The National Rural Health Alliance has identified four major barriers within the current oral healthcare system that need to be addressed so that oral health can be improved and universal access to dental care is made available. The four major barriers are:
- The high cost of private dental care;
- Limited supply of public dental services;
- Dental workforce shortages and mal-distribution, particularly in rural and remote areas; and
- The majority of Australians have bad attitudes to dental health and hygiene.
More than one in three Australians delay or avoid dental treatment due to a lack of affordability. As a result of this, growing numbers of people are now on waiting lists for dental care.
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