Minister welcomes plan to provide low cost dental care in South Auckland

  • Hon Dr David Clark

The Health Minister Dr David Clark says a new dental clinical training facility at Manukau’s SuperClinic will improve access to dental care for people in the area.

Counties Manukau District Health Board announced  this afternoon it was partnering with Otago University to build the new training facility at the site.

The new clinic will provide community-based training for fifth-year and postgraduate dental students.

However it will also provide access to dental care for members of the public, providing around 18,800 patient appointments per annum, prioritising adults with high need and poor access to dental care.

“We know that there is widespread unmet need for dental care among adults in New Zealand,” David Clark said.

“Need is greatest, and access to dental care is poorest, for Māori and Pasifika adults, and also those living in the most socio-economically deprived areas.”

The latest New Zealand Health Survey found that only 48 percent of adults had visited a dental health professional in the past year. Only 34 percent of adults in the most deprived areas had visited a dentist.

“I’m pleased that services provided here will include emergency dental treatment for relief of pain and treatment of infection for low-income adults, dental care for pregnant women and also for patients dealing with other conditions.

“This new dental clinical training facility will make a real difference by improving access to dental care for people in this region.

“It’s great that patient part-charges are expected to be modest, at around $40 per appointment for most of these services,” David Clark said.

The clinic will also support the provision of universal dental care for adolescents, and for younger children referred from the Community Oral Health Service.

The new satellite training clinic will be funded by the University of Otago at a cost of around $28 million, on land leased from Counties Manukau DHB.

It’s expected to open in 2020.