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Wise investment in oral health continues

Hon Steve Chadwick
Associate Minister of Health

19 May 2008 Media Statement
Wise investment in oral health continues

This government will continue to invest in the oral health of our young people, and will continue to invest wisely, Associate Health Minister Steve Chadwick said today.

Steve Chadwick was commenting following media reports about projected spending on new services for child and adolescent oral health services.

"We understand the problem: reviews of child and adolescent oral health services have identified significant needs, but we have a solution - a major upgrade for oral health services. And we're starting to put it in place.

“Mr Ryall’s simplistic, quick fix approach fails to understand the complexity of delivering a completely new service model,” Steve Chadwick said.

“But it is important that we get a quality service, that is value for taxpayers’ money. The reality is we have 21 district health boards (DHBs) working very closely with the Ministry on comprehensive plans to provide the appropriate services in each region. Some DHBs have chosen to work on joint procurement plans to ensure best value for money, but this does take a little longer.

“The early estimates of costs were conservative and estimates only. DHB business cases did exceed initial estimates and that is why the Ministry is continuing to work with DHBs to ensure value for money.

“While Mr Ryall might think it’s possible for changes to occur overnight, this government has a far more responsible attitude to investing public money, and is therefore undertaking a robust development process.”

Since 2005, this government has embarked on a substantial upgrade of community-based oral health facilities to support the delivery of child and adolescent oral health services and improve oral health outcomes.

“Reinvestment in a quality oral health system for our young people, following National’s neglect in the nineties, remains a top priority for this government.”


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