ADA calls for government to revamp oral healthcare in aged care homes

14 April 2022

Yesterday the Greens announced, as part of their election campaign, a plan to include dental in Medicare.

In response, the ADA released a media release which congratulated the Greens for addressing the seismic inadequacy in our dental health system while acknowledging that "that Adam Bandt’s dental pitch which will cost $8 bn a year or $77bn over a decade to provide Medicare funded dental services, will be a challenge for any government to implement."

The ADA proposed as a first step that whoever is in government needs to address the "the oral health travesties within the aged care system" with its "Stop the Rot" campaign "urging the major parties to urgently adopt as part of their election promises and post-election health strategies these measures which will go a long way to fixing the immediate problems."

This counter proposal, and the ADA's overall Stop the Rot campaign which is calling on all major parties to tackle the deficiencies in dental care for senior Australians, attracted considerable media attention with the following news stories taking place over approximately two weeks.

(1) ADA Deputy CEO Eithne Irving talks with ABC Radio Adelaide's David Bevan about dental policy at the federal level, specifically focusing on oral care in aged care homes.

(2) ADA CEO Damian Mitsch spoke to ABC Radio Adelaide - his segment commences at 45:43 in the three-hour recording - calling for a government dental policy that looks consistently and well after each segment of the population, particularly those in more disadvantaged groups such as the aged.


(3) ADA Vice President Dr Steve Liew says while he applauds the Greens' policy, funding is limited so it should target those most in need such as vulnerable older Australian, the neglect of whom has been highlighted in the aftermath of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.


(4) In an interview with 3AW News Talk, ADA CEO Damian Mitsch talks about the impportance of putting dental care front and centre at this and every election and specifically the changes that could be enacted in aged care at relatively low cost.

(5) ADA Deputy CEO Eithne Irving talks with ABC North Queensland about the pressing need for better standards in aged care first and foremost.

(6) ADA deputy cheief executive Eithne Irving says a lack of government support for the aged care industry is "unconscionable" as elderly and vulnerable Australians suffer without proper dental healthcare.