It was a privilege to be invited to ABC Radio Sydney’s Breakfast Show (scroll to 22:50) to talk about my charity work in Sydney and the vision I have for better dental service delivery to disadvantaged Australians. Whilst chatting with the host, Josh Szeps, I was able to share some alarming statistics about the state of dental affairs.
In 2012-2013, there were 63,000 potentially preventable hospitalisations (PPHs) due to acute dental conditions. The operative word is “preventable“. These are hospitalisations could have been prevented if there was better access to dental care for those on public dental waiting lists. Think about it, if you’re in pain, you may be lucky enough to afford to come to the dentist to have that pain relieved ASAP. What if you can’t afford it or even access it in time?
Imagine enduring days-weeks-months of pain because you can’t access public waiting lists, that it gets so bad…so infected that you have a facial swelling and present to the emergency ward. Even worse, imagine if this was your child!
Sadly this figure of PPHs due to acute dental conditions rose in 70,000 in 2016-2017. So the issue is not getting any better. Dental conditions were second only to urinary tract infections as the leading cause of PPHs. NSW accounted for 25% of those dental related PPHs.
Something needs to be done.
If you have read some of the other pages on my website you’ll know that I’m on a mission to put the mouth back into health policy at both state and federal level. I’m working hard to lead by example and show how things can be improved with innovative service models such as my mobile dental clinic. I’m a strong advocate for public-private sector collaboration as I feel that is the best way to achieve the desired oral health outcomes for these patients.
However, this isn’t a one man job. We need all hands on deck. Things only get done when the public gets behind a vision and makes some noise. It’s up to you, my valued patients, my friends, family and everyone else, to please share this on your social media profiles, via email and word of mouth (mind the pun). Help spread the word.