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Adolescent Dental Health Campaign Misleading

1 July 2004

Adolescent Dental Health Campaign Misleading

The adolescent dental health campaign being launched in Christchurch today by the Minister of Health has a hollow ring to it, says New Zealand First health spokesperson, Barbara Stewart.

“The main objective of the campaign is to promote the use of free dental care services for teenagers up to the age of 18 years.

“The campaign slogan is ‘It’s Free & It’s All Good’. Unfortunately this service is also not available in many parts of the country because of a shortage of dentists willing to participate and the Ministry of Health has the figures to illustrate this,” said Mrs Stewart.

“Many dentists find contracts to treat adolescents are not sufficiently funded to be viable and they no longer offer this service.

“If a commercial enterprise indulged in such misleading advertising the Consumer’s Institute and Fair Go would soon be in hot pursuit.

“Rather than spending money advertising a non-existent product, the Government would be better funding the District Health Boards to employ dentists specifically to treat adolescents or extending the school dental service,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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