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Dental Graduate Funding Cut Appeal Disappointing

Media Release
11 July 2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dental Graduate Funding Cut Appeal Disappointing

The Dental Council of New Zealand describes as “extremely disappointing” the Government’s decision to appeal a High Court decision over dentistry tuition funding cuts.

“This appeal is surprising and sad, particularly given how outspoken the Labour coalition was while in Opposition to the National Government’s reduction of dental tuition subsidies which resulted in dental fees doubling to $20,000 a year,” says Dental Council chairman Brent Stanley.

“When the High Court made its decision in April to return some $15 million to the University of Otago School of Dentistry, dentistry students and graduates between 1995 and 1999, we saw it as vindication of ongoing lobbying by the Dental Council of New Zealand over the past seven years.

“Those tuition cuts resulted in hardship and a huge burden of student debt for graduate dentists and were the major contributor to the loss of so many of our recent graduates,” Dr Stanley says.

Dr Stanley says the Council had “consistently and strongly” made its views known to Government.

“The position in which the majority of dental graduates from those years found themselves resulted in many leaving the country,” he says.

“The High Court’s decision was the result of a well-argued case, and, the Council believes, the right one. We can only hope the appeal will agree with us or we could well see a further loss of valuable and much needed dental graduates,” Dr Stanley says.

…ends/

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