Improving access to dental care: first steps to reform

The Government is determined to tackle the long‑term challenges in dental health, by taking action to address the capacity of the dental workforce now, as well as strengthening Australia's dental system for the future.

Supporting the dental workforce

Many Australians are able to access good dental care; however, there are some who are unable to access this in a timely manner.

The Government is investing $53 million over four years to introduce a voluntary dental internship year. The internship scheme will offer greater opportunities for graduates to gain experience in the public dental system.

This will help to increase the capacity of Australia'ss public dental workforce to provide additional dental care services

to the community, particularly for those on low incomes.

The scheme will provide support for up to 150 internship places, as well as mentoring roles, targeted at the public dental system. This means more dentists in the public system.

Funding will also be used to establish infrastructure to support the internship places and to cover the costs associated with the development of the curriculum for the scheme, to ensure participants receive clinically appropriate training.

This new investment will help to ensure that the dental workforce is well placed to support significant reform next year.

Prioritising areas for future investment

The Government will establish a National Advisory Council on Dental Health to provide advice to government on dental health, including prioritising areas for future investment.

The 12 member Council will include representatives from a range of stakeholder groups and organisations.


Graph - Dentistry graduates per year, 2001‑2009

Dentistry graduates per year, 2001‑2009