Nowra Community Dental Clinic is something to smile about

Nowra dental clinic is filling the gap in public dental services on the South Coast.

The state of the art Nowra Community Dental Clinic opened in November last year.

At the last meeting of CPSA Council, it was reported that the new clinic is working well and that it has made a big difference to the public dental waiting list in the area. This has been achieved, in part, through feedback tools to tailor the clinic's focus to better cater for its patients.

It has taken years of tireless campaigning by a dedicated few to increase the amount of dental care in the region. The Illawara Dental Action Group has been running for 19 years. The group campaigns for more public dental clinics and provides information to schools and the public about how to access free public dental services.

CPSA has heard many stories about the long waiting times for public dental work through NSW Health. Although 47% of the NSW population is eligible for public oral health services, the NSW Government's website says that the "limited resources and available services may result in waiting times to access care". This is clearly unacceptable. For people on low incomes access to public dental care is vitally important.

A member of the Illawara Dental Action Group said that "the squeaky wheel gets the oil". It should not boil down to this. For too long, too many people have suffered extreme pain and ill health caused by the lack of affordable dental care. Oral healthcare should be fully funded across the state for those on low incomes.

CPSA calls on all Governments to solve this problem once and for all.