Oral Health 2020 Case Study

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POPULATION ORAL HEALTH ASSIGNMENT Introduction Inequalities within the oral health care system remain a prevalent concern amongst health care providers, and dental services are still largely provided through private practices without the benefit of a universal access scheme. Public services currently attempt to prioritise cases by severity of need, but patients still consistently encounter lengthy waits during which their oral health status is likely to deteriorate. The populations at greatest risk of unequal access to oral health care include children & adolescents, the elderly, those with special needs, rural and regional communities, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders, and those with a lower socio-economic status (‘Oral Health 2020’, 2013).…show more content…
Therefore increasing access to services for those in this lower socio-economic gap is a key priority in addressing inequality in Australia. Method Utilising the wide availability of online resources and information would remain a key aspect in understanding how prevalent this issue is. Specifically, making use of the resources and academic literature available to students through the university research portals that are not commonly accessible via generic search engines should remain a priority. It should also be noted that the ‘Oral Health 2020: A Strategic Framework for Dental Health in New South Wales’ publication realised by the NSW Ministry of Health in 2013 should be a key reference document. This publication also further outlines four methods that should be utilised to collect primary information about oral health status and service – collection of service data, oral health services research, program evaluation, and oral health epidemiology. Discussion The greatest issues that threaten to contribute to the dental inequalities faced by Australians…show more content…
Research shows that early childhood exposure to fluoridated water decreases caries rates all throughout an individual’s life (Spencer, 1996). Furthermore, there should be greater integration of oral health with other health promotion programs in order to emphasise the importance of having a systematic, overall health approach. Continually improving primary prevention and increasing the efficiency of primary and tertiary oral health services in the public sector will greatly reduce the inequality that is currently faced by several high-risk sub-populations. On a professional level there should be adequate graduate programs with appropriate student placements available, more continuing professional development (CPD) programs, and greater education and training provided for those in the non-dental workplace (including but not limited to childcare workers, carers for the elderly, and Aboriginal health care workers). (Oral Health 2020, 2013) Progress should be monitored using DMFT, overall performance indicators (as outlined on p20 of Oral Health 2020, 2013) and KPI (including waiting hours and clinical hours) to see if these measures are effective and future policies should be tailored to address any shortcomings

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