THE Wimmera is set to smile brighter with increases to three Wimmera health groups’ dental funding.
The State Government announced on Wednesday that Wimmera Health Care Group would receive $1.5 million for its public dental program, with $466,000 in one-off funding.
West Wimmera Health Service will receive $774,000, while Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital will receive $78,800.
Wimmera Health Care Group chief executive Chris Scott said the region had poor dental health.
“Any additional funding, especially in public dental care, is extremely important,” he said.
“The lack of fluoridation in the water for countless years has led to poor dental hygiene in the region.
“The delivery of public dental services is very limited and any additional funding will help with waiting-list times for people with poor dental health.
“We see a lot of people coming into Horsham from across the region for public dental care.”
A Casterton dentist visits Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital each week.
Hospital general services manager Andrew Saunders said it was important to maintain good dental health.
“Any extra funding is a welcome boost and it will go a long way to improve access to dental health,” he said.
“This funding will help improve access to dental services at the hospital.
“We need to support those people who can’t afford private health cover or to see a dentist privately so this funding will assist those people.”
Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty said dental health played an important role in people’s wellbeing.
“Most dental disease is preventable and where dental health is concerned, prevention is better than cure,” he said.
“This funding boost by the Victorian Coalition Government is good news for western Victorians and will assist them in accessing dental care across the region.”