ADAVB Chief Executive Officer's Comments
September 2018 Hide Comments
Looking after your patients, your team and yourself
 
R U OK? Day
 
Thursday 13 September 2018 is R U OK? Day, a national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone that any day is the day to ask, ‘Are you OK?’ and provide support to those who might be struggling. 
 
Mental health issues are all too prevalent in our community, and we are not immune in the dental profession, whether it is our colleagues, staff, family or friends. Dentistry can be a stressful and isolating profession, and it is important that we all take care of ourselves and our colleagues. 
 
Although we often appear to be more connected than ever through social media to our friends and peers around the world, personal connections are still vitally important. Make sure you take the time to check in with people on R U OK? Day (and every day). 
 
There are great resources available at www.ruok.org.au that are valuable for all members to review.
 
Dementia Awareness Month
 
September is Dementia Awareness Month, and this provides an opportunity to promote the importance of good oral health for the more than 425,000 people in Australia living with dementia. Although it is common to think of dementia as only affecting those older people living in nursing homes, we are seeing more cases of dementia occurring in people aged in their 40s and 50s. Dentists should expect to be providing dental care to more patients living with dementia, and may be instrumental in helping improve their quality of life. 
 
The ADA and Dementia Australia partnered to develop an excellent suite of resources to assist dentists, available through the ADA CPD portal at www.ada.org.au
 
Convention success
 
Last month saw the successful ADAVB Convention held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, with nearly 900 attendees including dentists, hygienists, oral health therapists, practice managers and dental assistants. 
 
Attendees heard from national and international speakers across a range of clinical and non-clinical topics, and were challenged to strive for success in their clinical and personal lives. The ADAVB also celebrated the achievements of members, including the awarding of 50-year certificates to Drs Thomas Hudson, Christopher Murray and Robert Osmond, the ADAVB BOQ Specialist Practice Bursary to Dr Sath Saranathan and his team at Goulburn Valley Dental in Shepparton, and academic prizes to students from the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University. 
 
The Recent Graduates Cocktail Night was a sell-out, capping off a fantastic weekend. 
 
I would particularly like to extend my thanks to the CPD team – Caroline, Marissa and Colin – for ensuring the success of the Convention, and to the entire ADAVB staff for their contributions.
 
Mobile dental vans 
 
Members may have seen recent media reports from NSW of mobile dental vans and concerns over treatment provided to children in schools. Access to dental care is important, however ADAVB is concerned about how some of these services are promoted to schools (blurring the lines between a government-provided school dental service and a private provider), issues of consent and potential over-servicing, as has been reported in the NSW example, and misuse of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. 
 
ADAVB recently assisted in the drafting of a mobile dental care policy for ADA, and we are seeking meetings with the Department of Education and the relevant ministers to help provide advice to schools to ensure that children continue to receive the highest level of care.
 
Public dental waiting times
 
ADAVB released data obtained from a Freedom of Information request highlighting the long waiting times for public dental care in Victoria, with waiting times increasing 67 per cent over the past three years. 
 
The public dental system is chronically underfunded, with only 400,000 of the 2.5 million eligible Victorians able to receive care each year. In the lead-up to the Victorian State Election in November 2018, ADAVB will be campaigning for increased funding for public dental care. Learn about how you can get involved on page 12. 
 
A/Prof Matt Hopcraft
ceo@adavb.org 


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Clinical A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft
BDSc MDSc BA PhD FICD
Chief Executive Officer
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