More investment needed in public dental

The decay delay

Clinic Wait times
Butler 25.8 months
Quinns Beach 23.3 months
Darlington 23 months
Somerly 21.4 months
Meriwa 19.4 months
Westfield Park 24 - 36 months (Estimated)
South Thornlie 15 months
Mandurah 15 months

The Barnett Government needs to invest more in the public dental system to overturn long waiting periods.

“Waiting lists at some of the clinics continue to be unacceptably high and unfortunately many people on the long-term lists will give up and not receive much-needed dental treatment,” CPSU/CSA branch secretary Toni Walkington said.

“The only way to reduce the wait times is to employ more dental clinic assistants and dental technicians and make working in the public system more attractive.

“Failure to do so will mean the clinics will never reduce the waiting lists and more people will miss out on treatment.”

Ms Walkington said it was important for dental staff to remain in the public system but feared long waiting lists and workload pressures would see more staff lured to the private sector.

We understand that patients have been given vouchers that subsidise the cost of attending a private clinic in an effort to reduce wait times.

Ms Walkington said if patients did not get access to the public clinics they could end up being treated at public hospitals, putting pressure on other parts of the health system.

“Our members in the public dental system have determined that an extra 20 staff would be needed to fill the gaps and that the overall cost of doing this is not high when it is compared to the cost of long waiting lists.

“We also understand that some clinics have had 50 days of cancellations that resulted in hundreds of appointments being rescheduled.”

It is also understood that some dental clinics were paying $300 a day to employ short-term agency staff. 




Toni Walkington
CPSU/CSA Branch Secretary
(08)  9323 3800

Darren O’Dea
CPSU/CSA Media Liaison Officer
M:  0421  934 794

P:    (08) 9323 3855

E:    [email protected]


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