Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Minister All Plaque On Dental Care

Minister All Plaque On Dental Care

Thursday 29 Jul 2004

Heather Roy - Press Releases - Health

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today accused Health Minister Annette King of playing games with the oral health of New Zealand teenagers, by refusing to front up and tell parents whether she plans to cut dentist visit subsidies altogether.

"For some time, dentists have been trying to draw attention to the fact that they have not received an increase in the Government subsidy for the dental care of secondary school students in the past decade," Mrs Roy said.

"The Health Ministry has devolved responsibility of this area to DHBs, who are now responsible for contracting with individual dentists. The Minister has made it clear that, for her, dental health is obviously not a priority area - surprising for a former dental nurse.

"Dentists currently have the option of accepting a new contract - an $85 fee to cover the costs of a check-up, x-rays and up to six fillings - or they can opt for the provisions of the old contract: $24.77 per filling and check up, x-rays and clean for $39.35.

"Most dentists charge around $70 to $80 for a routine check, x-ray and clean, and it is obvious to all - except the Minister - that dentists costs are not covered. It is unsurprising, then, that only a quarter of Wellington dentists are willing to sign any contract at all. Those looking for a dentist for secondary school children are finding it increasingly difficult.

"Meanwhile the nation's oral health suffers. It is estimated that around 30 percent of secondary school students are not seeing a dentist - but, as the Ministry does not keep figures, it is hard to substantiate the real number.

"We have a Minister who claims to feel strongly about oral health. Her delaying tactics and lack of leadership in this area is staggering. If her real aim is to cut this subsidy out completely, she should come clean and tell parents that this is the situation.

"ACT believes that parents should be able to use their tax dollars to access public or private dental care. Access and choice for students would be improved, and dentists would be paid properly for their service. This would be a more honest way of providing oral health care.

"Children's dental care is in near crisis - Ms King should come clean that our children's teeth are not being kept clean," Mrs Roy said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election