THE State Government needs to invest more in the public dental system to overturn long waiting periods, warns the Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association.
“Waiting lists at some of the clinics continue to be unacceptably high and unfortunately many people on the long-term lists will give up and not receive much-needed dental treatment,” CPSU/CSA branch secretary Toni Walkington said.
The 15-month waiting time in Mandurah is one of the lowest, compared with 25.8 months in Darlington.
“The only way to reduce the wait times is to employ more dental clinic assistants and dental technicians and make working in the public system more attractive,” Ms Walkington said.
“Failure to do so will mean the clinics will never reduce the waiting lists and more people will miss out on treatment.”
She said it was important for dental staff to remain in the public system but feared long waiting lists and workload pressures would see more staff lured to the private sector.
The union understands patients have been given vouchers that subsidise the cost of attending a private clinic in an effort to reduce wait times at public clinics.