More Incentives needed to attract Dentists to South Australia

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Representatives from the Australian Dental Association say that more incentives are needed to attract dentists to rural parts of South Australia.

Currently, in some rural areas, patients are waiting more than two years to see a dentist because of the severe shortage of dentists; as a result of this, standards of oral health are poor and people are forced to travel long distances if they require dental treatment. There is currently a six month wait for private dental treatment but many people cannot afford to see a private dentist.

Dr Angela Pierce, president of the association, said that more incentives were needed to bring dentists to the area and that the government should consider similar incentives to those given to GPs. Dr Pierce suggested scholarship programmes and relocation payments to try and encourage dentists to work in regional South Australia.

The federal budget brought good news to the area, as funding will be used to develop new clinics in Berri, Wallaroo, Port Lincoln and Mount Gambier. It is hoped that the new clinics will help to reduce waiting lists in the region.

South Australia Health said that it was making efforts to try and attract dentists to the area and improve services for local people.

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