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$30 million upgrade of youth oral health services

$30 million upgrade of youth oral health services

Associate Health Minister Steve Chadwick today announced that the Ministers of Health and Finance have approved capital funding of $29.85 million to upgrade child and adolescent oral health services in five regions.

“This is fantastic news for the communities of Northland, Hawkes Bay, Nelson-Marlborough, Canterbury and Southland. We know that good oral health for life starts from childhood, which is why we are prioritising the youngest members of our society,” Steve Chadwick said.

“This funding will ensure better access to dental care for young New Zealanders, including those living in remote or rural areas.

“The DHBs will use the money to purchase new mobile dental clinics and clinical equipment, as well as to upgrade and build new fixed clinics.”

On top of the capital funding, the DHBs will also receive operating funding of $3.5 million in 2008/09, rising to $7.4 million by 2011/2012. Counties-Manukau, Taranaki, Wairarapa, West Coast and Tairawhiti DHBs have already had funding approved for upgrading their dental services.

“Today’s announcement is part of this government’s major upgrade of community-based oral health services – we are part way through a capital investment programme that will see more than $100 million committed to improving the oral health of young New Zealanders.

“Since 2005 this government has been working on a substantial upgrade of dental services and the Ministry of Health has been working with DHBs to develop comprehensive plans to ensure the delivery of better oral health outcomes. “Access to appropriate services is key to reducing inequalities in oral health, and we must therefore sustain these efforts to further improve access in all regions, and to raise awareness about the availability of these services.

“These new investments support the Government’s strategic vision for an environment that promotes good oral health for all, for life,” Ms Chadwick said.

Funding for these initiatives was allocated in Budgets 2006 to 2008.


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