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Thousands Come In Behind Call For Free Dental Care For Adults

Over 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for dental care to be brought into the public healthcare system. On Monday, polling was released showing strong public support for dental care to be funded for adults as it is for children, with people from across the political spectrum having roughly the same level of agreement (77% of Labour and Green supporters, and 73% of National and ACT supporters).

“The speed at which public support is growing, and the decisive polling results, show very clearly that the public wants to see action on this” said Sarah Dalton of ASMS, who commissioned the poll. “We know how important oral health is to our overall well being, and that thousands of New Zealanders suffer because they do not have access to care.”

The 2022 ‘Tooth Be Told’ report outlines that free or subsidised access to dental care in Aotearoa would save millions of dollars in the health budget over time.

“Access to dental care, no matter your income, is essential. This change is inevitable if we want to have a healthy society. Therefore it is a matter of when, not if. We are calling on the government to act now, to avoid the unnecessary suffering and complications that come with not seeing the dentist.” Said Brooke Stanley Pao of Auckland Action Against Poverty. “It is no coincidence that people living under the poverty line or on low incomes often have oral health problems. It is yet another way that life is made so much harder for people on low incomes. This is an issue of inequity and we can do so much better.”

The Dental for all Campaign is supported by medical professionals, unions, community groups, and social service providers including the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, Auckland City Mission - Te Tāpui Atawhai, New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation, Auckland Action Against Poverty, and ActionStation.

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