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New body to advise on dental health

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 6 Sep 2011

Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, and Greens Health Spokesperson, Senator for Victoria, Richard Di Natale, today announced the establishment of the National Advisory Council on Dental Health as part of the agreement between the Gillard Government and the Australian Greens.

Headed by former senior public servant Ms Mary Murnane, the council will provide expert advice on dental health issues.

Ms Roxon said the council will look at the current mix and coverage of dental services in order to provide advice on future needs and priorities for future reform.

“The council will look at how to improve services to ensure that Australians have access to high quality, cost effective dental services,” Ms Roxon said.

Senator Di Natale said that the council will play a key role in providing advice on future dental policy.

"There are over half a million Australians who can't afford dental care. Poor dental health is one of biggest causes of preventable presentations to the emergency room," Senator Di Natale said.

"That's why the Greens have made dental health such a high priority and we look forward to the council's recommendations.”

Other council members:

  • Deputy Chair, Professor John Spencer, former director, Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health;
  • Dr Shane Fryer, President, Australian Dental Association;
  • Professor Johann de Vries, Australian Council of Dental Schools;
  • Dr Martin Dooland, South Australian Public Dental Health Service;
  • Prue Power, Australian Healthcare and Hospital Association;
  • Adam Longshore, Bupa;
  • Dr Tessa Boyd-Caine, Australian Council of Social Service;
  • Tony McBride, Chair, Australian Health Care Reform Alliance;
  • Professor Hal Swerissen, La Trobe Faculty Health Science;
  • Julie Barker, President, Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists Association;
  • Dr Jenny May, Chair, rural health expert

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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