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King’s shameful legacy in oral health

King’s shameful legacy in oral health

National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall, says former Health Minister Annette King has left a shameful legacy of children with rotting teeth.

"Labour has been promising action on dental care for more than seven years. They've even had a dental nurse as Minister of Health for six years, yet things have only got worse. Labour should be truly embarrassed.”

Mr Ryall is responding to comments by Health Minister Pete Hodgson today that attempt to justify a massive deterioration in children’s oral health since Labour came to power.

“Every single one of these five-year-olds was born under a Labour Government.

“Labour has promised action on children’s oral health since well before the 1999 election. They’ve had seven years in government to do something about it.

“Labour has no one to blame but themselves. During those seven years they have released report after strategy after vision – all built on waffle.

“The latest report calls for DHB plans by the end of next year! There is no sense of urgency or taking of responsibility.

“What is this Government waiting for? It’s time for Labour to stop counting the problem and stop blaming everyone else for seven years of inaction.”

The regions with the worst dental health in five-year-olds include Northland, Waikato, Tairawhiti, Whanganui, Bay of Plenty, Wairarapa and West Coast.


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