State Govt puts bite into patients’ waiting time

THE number of dental patients on the waiting list in Gympie and the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service has almost halved since the service began issuing vouchers for patients to receive treatment in private dental practices.

Chairman of the health service board, Professor Paul Thomas said the number of patients waiting for more than two years for treatment had also been slashed by more than 85% in the same period.

"In February 2013, there were 4204 people who had been waiting over two years and by September this year, that number had reduced to just 617," Prof Thomas said.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg yesterday applauded the efforts of Queensland's hospitals and health services in reducing the long dental examination and treatment waiting times for public patients.

"We met this issue head on when we signed the National Partnership Agreement on treating more dental patients in February 2013 this year," Mr Springborg said.

"Statewide, we have issued vouchers for private dental treatments to 57,000 people, including 31,000 people requiring urgent care, 24,000 people waiting for a check-up and 1500 people waiting for a denture."

Gympie Times


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