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He Pānui Oranga - Tamariki Niho Ora - MySmile

The next National Government will ensure New Zealand’s youth has improved access to better dental health services with the MySmile (Tamariki Niho Ora) policy.

National Party Leader Judith Collins, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti and MP for Whanganui Harete Hipango announced the policy in Whanganui today.

National will:

· Invest an additional $30 million per year in our childhood oral health programme

· Increase resources for paediatric and school dental services to ensure all children have appropriate access to high quality dental care

· Introduce a comprehensive programme to improve paediatric and child oral health

MySmile (Tamariki Niho Ora) will cost an additional $30 million annually. This is a 30 per cent increase on the $100 million New Zealand currently spends annually on youth dental services.

The programme has an education and promotion component alongside daily tooth brushing and fluoride varnish.

It is also expected to save money in the long term with a cost benefit analysis as high as 5.0 indicating that for every $1 spent there will be $5 in benefit.

“There are currently 120,000 Kiwi kids on dental waiting lists. We will provide the resources to ensure children most at need can get the access to quality dental care they deserve,” Ms Collins says.

“The investment is part of National’s Social Investment approach. By providing a targeted intervention in childhood we can provide lifelong benefits to our kids’ health.

“This investment will also provide savings to individuals in the long run as they will require fewer expensive dental procedures.”

“National believes that everyone should have the opportunity to access world class healthcare regardless of income, background or postcode, we’re giving children who might have otherwise missed out an opportunity for quality dental care,” Dr Reti says.

“All Kiwi kids should have access to the resources they need to have good oral health today and the education they need to have good oral health for life.

Local MP for Whanganui Harete Hipango is pleased that known inequities and high rates of dental decay in Whanganui will be addressed.

“This policy is investing in our future by developing improvements that will help generations to come.”

Attached is National’s Tamariki Niho Ora policy

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