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The changing oral health situation in Australia and moving towards primary oral health care


Crocombe, LA and Slack-Smith, L and Bell, EJ and Barnett, AP, The changing oral health situation in Australia and moving towards primary oral health care, Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management, 9, (1) pp. 45-49. ISSN 1833-3818 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2014 Australasian College of Health Service Management

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Abstract Background: Oral health has a substantial influence on quality of life and has been linked to general health, yet there is much work required to determine its optimal management. Methods: This discussion paper drew upon government reports, research literature, existing reviews and media releases to discover the challenges and opportunities when incorporating dentistry into primary health care. Results: Oral health outcomes have improved over the generations, the dental practice service mix has changed, the number of dental clinicians has increased and the workforce mix is changing, possibly leading to changing perspectives to work-life balance. There is unequal access to dental care alongside a dental workforce maldistribution. Dental care is funded separately to general health care and is largely supplied by the private sector. Subsidised dental care has been managed by the states but federal politicians of major political parties are investigating new funding arrangements. Conclusions: The challenges to incorporating dentistry into primary health care are great. However, major political parties are interested in oral health. The oral workforce is going through a process of rapid change in practitioner number, type and possibly attitudes, thereby giving an opportunity to modify its delivery systems.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:oral health, primary healthcare, dentistry, funding
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Dentistry
Research Field:Dentistry not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Dental health
UTAS Author:Crocombe, LA (Associate Professor Leonard Crocombe)
UTAS Author:Bell, EJ (Associate Professor Erica Bell)
UTAS Author:Barnett, AP (Associate Professor Tony Barnett)
ID Code:86518
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2013-09-20
Last Modified:2017-11-01
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