New Zealand Children Missing Out On Dental Care
Children in New Zealand are missing out on dental care, despite the fact that dental services are available free of charge, according to chief dental officer, Dr Robyn Haisman-Welsh.
Speaking at a World Oral Health Day event at a school in Gisborne, Dr Haisman-Welsh said that many children are not getting the treatment they need, despite the fact that dental services are free for children under the age of 18 years old.
Dr Haisman-Welsh said that it is important for children to see their dentist on a regular basis, as good oral health during childhood will set them up for healthy teeth and gums in their adult life.
Dental care has been free for children for many years in New Zealand and district health boards are on the verge of completing a major investment programme funded by the government.
The government has injected $116 million into the programme and an additional $36 million per year to cover running costs; the money is being used to upgrade and improve the current service for children and teenagers.
Dr Haisman-Welsh said that standards of oral health have improved over the last 25 years; however, there is still room for improvement, especially among children.
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