WA Labor commits to free dental checks for Goldfields children from 6 months to 5 years

Posted on February 25, 2021
  • Goldfields families will benefit from a commit by WA Labor to provide free dental checks to children aged 6 months to five years
  • $11.5 million investment over four years statewide
  • Commitment will help keep Goldfields kids’ teeth strong and healthy 

Families in the Goldfields will benefit from a commitment by WA Labor to invest $11.5 million into dental health services for children aged six months through to five years.

The commitment will help prevent future hospital presentations and promote oral health and will complement existing free dental treatment available for children aged five and over through the School Dental Service.

The program will be delivered in a child-friendly environment and will focus on prevention and promotion.Those who need dental care will be referred to the School Dental Service for treatment. 

Under the program, the first two dental checks will take place in a community setting, with the third and fourth dental check taking place through the School Dental Service.

For Western Australian children aged four and under, dental conditions are the second highest reason for preventable hospital presentations, costing an estimated $4.7 million to public health services annually. Too often their dental health is overlooked until it reaches crisis point, resulting in emergency presentations and hospital admissions.

It is hoped that the program will make it easier and more affordable for families to access dental services for their children.

Expanding dental services for children 0-4 years was a recommendation arising from the Final Report of the Sustainable Health Review.

Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:

“Here in the Goldfields the public health care system takes really good care of little teeth. 

“But these programs are not always accessible or available to everyone, which is why WA Labor will ensure that every child living here in the Goldfields and throughout WA will have access to a free, child-friendly and community-based dental assessment and oral health promotion from six months of age, setting them up for good dental health for the rest of their life.

“This commitment will also deliver millions of dollars per annum in avoided health costs as a result of earlier intervention.”