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Funding for dental therapy to increase

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education
Hon Annette King
Minister of Health

31 August 2005 Media Statement

Funding for dental therapy to increase

Funding for dental therapy studies is to increase by more than 20 per cent to better reflect the costs of clinical training and to ensure New Zealand continues to have a good supply of quality dental therapists for children.

The increase in funding was announced today by Education Minister Trevor Mallard and Health Minister Annette King.

The funding rate for dental therapy will next year rise from $8,220 per EFTS (Equivalent Full Time Student) to $10,824 per EFTS for diploma-level education and from $8,418 per EFTS to $11,074 per EFTS for degree-level education in 2006. This shift represents an increase in funding of $2,604 and $2,656 respectively in 2006, and is expected to cost an extra $280,000 next year.

Auckland University of Technology and the University of Otago are the only tertiary education institutions offering dental therapy qualifications, at diploma, degree and postgraduate levels.

"Dental therapy training is an important area of tertiary education that is key to supporting the dental health of children,” Trevor Mallard said.

"It is expected that the increase in funding will help both institutions to attract more students into this important area. Today’s announcement also reflects our government's commitment to shift public funding towards high value tertiary education that better meets the needs of New Zealanders.”

Annette King said the announcement was an important development in the Labour-led government's support for New Zealand's health workforce.

"Dental therapists play a key role in supporting the dental health of New Zealand children as they deliver school-based dental care," Annette King said.

The change to the funding rate for dental therapy training follows the recent Funding Category Review carried out by the Tertiary Education Commission. It also reflects the Statement of Tertiary Education Priorities (STEP) which says that addressing the needs of the health workforce is a priority for the tertiary education system.


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