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Improving access to dental and oral health care in rural & remote communities

The Challenge

People living in regional and remote areas of Australia have poorer oral health than those living in Major cities, and oral health status generally declines as remoteness increases. People living in rural areas have access to fewer dental practitioners than their city counterparts, which, coupled with longer travel times and limited transport options to services, affects the oral health care that they can receive.

People living in remote and very remote areas have reduced access to fluoridated drinking water and face increased costs of healthy food choices and oral hygiene products. These risk factors contribute to this population’s overall poorer oral health.

Theory of Change

Increasing and expanding access to oral and dental health care services in rural and remote communities will lead to a long term improvement in oral health and reductions in avoidable hospitalisations.



Anticipated Outcomes

Short-Intermediate Term

  1. Increase in the number of people able to access oral health and dental services in rural and remote communities.

  2. Self-reported increase in dental health literacy.

  3. Patient satisfaction with service quality.

Long Term Outcomes

Reduction hospitalisations for acute and chronic dental health conditions.

Progress

Accessibility

-
Number of people able to access oral health and dental services in rural and remote communities.

Health Literacy

-
Self-reported increase in dental health literacy

Quality

-
Patient satisfaction with service quality
LAST UPDATED: 

8 December 2023

NOTES:

Program commenced in September 2023. Data will be available in early 2024.

Contact:

Julia Faulkner, Manager Rural and Remote Health Initiatives (0451 816 827)

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