Dental Care

Published on Thursday, 7 October 2021 at 2:31:00 PM

At times, I think I harp on the need to encourage “buy local” but every time I doubt my own philosophy, something comes along to reinforce my stance.

The latest is a generous offer by a local dental firm Goldfields Family Dental, to look after an elderly woman who has no access to government assistance or family income.

After one knock back, I contacted Alex and Reece Naylor at Goldfields Family Dental, a locally owned firm and they were only too pleased to help this grandmother who had been reduced to eating soup and was in a lot of pain because of poor dental care.

I am told by the family that the dental work is well progressed and she will have the final work in coming weeks, a great relief to herself and family.

This offer by Goldfields Family Dental is another example of why we shop local.

If I had approached Perth dentists to provide the same level of charity, I am very doubtful if I would have received such generosity.

This brings me to another matter and that is the overall dental care in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and throughout Australia.

I have long advocated that Medicare should be extended to include dentistry.

In my previous life as a member for parliament I visited Norseman and on one of my regular Saturday morning visits I was approached by a concerned resident who knew of many people in the town who were in severe pain but because of the infrequent visits by the dental caravan, were too scared to attend when it did eventually visit Norseman.

They were also concerned about the cost and as a result of this poor dental care, this woman pointed out that many of these residents had long term health problems that started from poor dental care.

It is illogical that the health of Australians is covered by the Medicare levy but excludes dental work.

The increasing cost of health care has seen successive of governments shy at the obvious need to increase the levy, which no longer goes close to providing the protection and level of care Australians come to expect.

We have a very good mix between public and private, but for those who do need public care, the funding from the levy leaves a short fall that grows by every year, which is probably why governments do not want to visit the possibility of including dental care as a part of Medicare.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder seems to have a good balance of dentists in the community, as I recall several years ago, some residents were forced to travel to Perth for emergency procedures.

The best way to ensure we maintain this high level of care in our community is to shop local and that wherever possible we use the local dentists because when you need a donation, like the one I have talked about, it is always the locals that will come forward.

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