Aged care residents attending ACT Health education programs could be among the ‘big winners’ from a re-elected ACT Labor government.
Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, used Friday’s ALP conference to pledge $1.6 million to establish a mobile dental clinic if victorious at the October poll.
Ms Gallagher said the service would provide comprehensive dental treatment to some of the most vulnerable members in the community.
“If people find it hard to come to the dental clinics, we will come to them,'' Ms Gallagher said.
''The establishment of a mobile clinic will extend dental care not only to the frail and those who are less mobile, but also provide care in a familiar, calming environment to residents living with dementia.
''Just as importantly, we will alleviate pain and suffering among some of the most vulnerable members of our community.''
Ms Gallagher said dental diseases are among the most preventable.
An estimated 80% of nursing home patients do not have regular dental care and the number of elderly denture wearers is expected to increase over the next 10 years.
The ACT Dental Program provides some denture services to selected residential aged care facilities, but reportedly offers no preventative services or clinical dentistry.
The mobile clinic will provide services, including dental assessment, fitting, adjusting and repair general dental treatment and restorative services such as fillings and extractions; preventative services including cleaning and oral hygiene education; and oral pathology identification and referral to specialist dentists.
Ms Gallagher said the program would first deal with acute problems and then would focus on preventative care. The plan aims to ‘free up’ resources taken by emergency dental care services.
Pension card holders are eligible for the service.