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25 Sep 2015 | Press Release

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ADOHTA welcomes the new health leadership team

Appointments and Promotions

The Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists Association (ADOHTA) has welcomed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's announcement of ministerial portfolios and his Cabinet.


ADOHTA national president Ms Hellene Platell says that the Health portfolio is extremely complex and important, and in continuing Minister Ley's appointment as Health Minister, the Turnbull government has ensured stability and continuity for the Portfolio.

"The Health portfolio affects every Australian's life and should be considered a top priority of any government."

"We welcome the newly elected Turnbull government for their approach to restructuring the Health portfolio, including the addition of Rural Health to it."

Ms Platell says the appointment of Sen. Fiona Nash to the new portfolio of Rural Health highlights a step in the right direction by the Government.

"The creation of the new Rural Health portfolio confirms the Turnbull government's commitment to the national health agenda, in particular, tackling rural, regional and remote issues especially in oral health and the significant illnesses associated with poor oral health."

"As recently highlighted in the Royal Flying Doctor's Service research and policy paper, those living in rural and remote areas have higher rates of tooth decay, gum disease and are at greater risk of having teeth extracted than those who live in metropolitan areas." said Ms Platell.

Ms Platell says ADOHTA, the national representative body for oral health practitioners - dental therapists, oral health therapists and dental hygienists – looks forward to opportunities to work with the Health Ministers and the Department of Health to support efforts to address the disparities that exist in accessing oral care.

"For a long time now delivery of oral health care and preventive services has been a challenge in the Australian health system. Many Australians, especially those who are disadvantaged, are unable to access timely and affordable dental care"

"Australia has invested in building the capacity of oral health practitioners by advancing their training and education (three year bachelor degrees) and since 2010, registering them nationally through the Australian Health Professionals Registration Agency."

Ms Platell says that in a country as prosperous as Australia, timely, affordable, safe and effective dental care should be accessible by all Australians.

"We live in a great country which has a health system which is ranked among the top 35 in the world by the World Health Organisation, but yet we still see 3 out of every 10 Australians with untreated tooth decay."

"We believe that oral health practitioners can be supported to work in ways that make a greater contribution to improving the oral and general health of Australians, both in our cities and in rural and regional areas."

"We look forward to continuing our engagement and work with the Australian Government to strengthen and progress access to preventive oral health services in Australia."

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