Health services across Northern Victoria will benefit from new and upgraded dental equipment, which will ensure locals get better and safer public dental care, more quickly, Members for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes and Steve Herbert, announced today.

Ms Symes and Mr Herbert secured funding for Northern Victoria health services who will receive funding for vital equipment such as new sterilising tools, chairs, x-ray units, digital tech equipment which means higher quality care, improved safety and better outcomes for patients.

Health services to be funded include Hepburn Health Service, Wimmera Health Group, Boort District health, Mallee Track Health and Community Service, Goulburn Valley Health, Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative Limited, Seymour District Memorial Hospital, Albury Wodonga Health and Nillumbik Health.

The Andrews Labor Government is investing more than $207 million in public dental services in 2015-16 providing dental treatment to over 332,000 eligible patients this year, and includes more than $3.7 million to upgrade equipment at more than 40 public dental clinics.

“Good oral health is the foundation for good overall health, and the Andrews Labor Government is investing in new equipment and technology to ensure Victorians get the best public dental care possible, more quickly,” Mr Herbert said.

“We know that lack of access to timely dental care can cause conditions to worsen and can even lead to chronic disease.

“The Abbott Government’s cuts to public dental services will see Victorians wait even longer for vital dental treatment.”

“This new equipment funding will mean health services across Northern Victoria can continue to deliver vital public dental services to the local community.

“The dentists and dental technicians in Northern Victoria do such fantastic work. Good teeth are so important because they keep us healthy and make us feel more confident.”

The Andrews Labor Government is investing in Victoria’s health system so that more patients can get the care they need when they need it.

In contrast, the Federal Abbott Government has slashed funding for public dental services. The National Partnership Agreement on Adult Public Dental Services was supposed to provide Victoria $220 million over three years, however this was cut in the recent Federal Budget to just $38.5 million for one year only.

These federal funding cuts will see 214,400 fewer Victorians receiving dental care this year, and it’s not yet clear what – if any – continued funding will be provided in future years.

This failure to commit to funding beyond this financial year places even more pressure on public dental services and will see Victorians wait even longer for vital dental treatment.