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Valuable contribution to Productivity Commission hearings by ADA

One key, ongoing element of the ADA's activities is having direct input into deliberations by government and regulatory bodies on any matters that will affect patient health and the dental profession's ability to meet that need.

As part of this commitment, the ADA, in tandem with the NSW branch, attended the Productivity Commission's hearings into its Draft Report arising from its Human Services inquiry, which were held yesterday in Sydney.

The Draft Report’s proposed recommendations are specifically aimed at increasing competition, contestability and informed user choice in human services, with a number that may have considerable bearing on the delivery of public dental services.

As part of the contribution to the hearings, the ADA and NSW Branch emphasised to the Commission that:

•    Ultimately all levels of government must support measures that promote good personal oral hygiene and diet, abstinence from tobacco use; and should implement community-based preventive activities such as water fluoridation. Most oral disease can be prevented and all recommendations must take advantage of that fact;

•    The existing funding for state and territory public dental services through National Partnership Agreements must be improved to allow for greater certainty of funding and require more transparency;

On an overall level, the ADA made it clear that dental care should continue to be provided on a fee-for-services basis, which the Association believes is the most competitive and efficient model for delivering the best oral healthcare outcomes for patients. Further to this, that the proposed recommendations do not adequately recognise that any new policy directions must maximise use of the dental workforce and infrastructure that is available in private practice, and that the use  of government programs such as CDBS should be expanded with increased funding allocated.

Additional specific concerns were raised with particular Draft recommendations regarding a capitation funded approach to public dental services and the need for close consultation with the dental profession regarding test sites to evaluate blended payment models and allocation systems.

Read ADA NSW's submission

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