A dental workforce strategy to make Australian public dental services more efficient

Nguyen, Tan Minh, Tonmukayakul, Utsana and Calache, Hanny 2019, A dental workforce strategy to make Australian public dental services more efficient, Human resources for health, vol. 17, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1186/s12960-019-0370-8.

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Title A dental workforce strategy to make Australian public dental services more efficient
Author(s) Nguyen, Tan Minh
Tonmukayakul, UtsanaORCID iD for Tonmukayakul, Utsana orcid.org/0000-0002-6464-744X
Calache, Hanny
Journal name Human resources for health
Volume number 17
Article ID 37
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2019-05-30
ISSN 1478-4491
Keyword(s) Child health
Health economics
Health policy
Health sector reform
Health systems research
Health workers
National health service
Oral health
Public policy
Science & Technology
Social Sciences
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Health Policy & Services
Industrial Relations & Labor
Health Care Sciences & Services
Business & Economics
Summary BACKGROUND: Dental services can be provided by the oral health therapy (OHT) workforce and dentists. This study aims to quantify the potential cost-savings of increased utilisation of the OHT workforce in providing dental services for children under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS). The CDBS is an Australian federal government initiative to increase dental care access for children aged 2-17 years. METHODS: Dental services billed under the CDBS for the 2013-2014 financial year were used. Two OHT-to-dentist workforce mix ratios were tested: Model A National Workforce (1:4) and Model B Victorian Workforce (2:3). The 30% average salary difference between the two professions in the public sector was used to adjust the CDBS fee schedule for each type of service. The current 29% utilisation rate of the CDBS and the government target of 80% were modelled. RESULTS: The estimated cost-savings under the current CDBS utilisation rate was AUD 26.5M and AUD 61.7M, for Models A and B, respectively. For the government target CDBS utilisation rate, AUD 73.2M for Model A and AUD 170.2M for Model B could be saved. CONCLUSION: An increased utilisation of the OHT workforce to provide dental services under the CDBS would save costs on public dental service funding. The potential cost-savings can be reinvested in other dental initiatives such as outreach school-based dental check programmes or resource allocation to eliminate adult dental waiting lists in the public sector.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12960-019-0370-8
Field of Research 1110 Nursing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2019, The Author(s)
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30122839

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