The future of the Goulburn Valley's School Dental Health Service remains unclear after a recommendation in the Upper House last week to devolve the state funded service.
Mr Don Kilgour (MLA, Shepparton) said yesterday the Coalition had set up a committee to investigate the consequences of recommendations by the health department to devolve the service, which treats thousands of Victorian school children each year.
Meanwhile, a large number of dental nurses (who assist dental therapists in the vans) are transferring from their own union to the State Public Services Federation, joining the therapists.
The nurses, who initially belonged to the Health and Community Service Union, say they have joined the therapists to strengthen the protest against devolution to community health centres.
The Brand Review - commissioned by the Health Department of Victoria - read to the Upper House last week by Minister for Health Maureen Lyster, also recommended:
- No more students be admitted to the health department's dental therapy school
- The government eliminate the legislative restrictions on the practice of dental therapists to allow their employment throughout the public and private systems of dental care
In the Shepparton/Kyabram district about 7500 children visit the mobile dental vans during a two year cycle.
That number swells to 11 500 in the department's region four, which includes Shepparton, Benalla, Wangaratta, Wodonga and Seymour areas.