August 2014 Commonwealth of Australia 2014



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Oral health practitioners


Table presents the workforce projection scenario results for oral health practitioners, comprised of oral health therapists, dental hygienists and dental therapists. The comparison scenario indicates the supply of oral health practitioners is projected to exceed demand (which was derived from existing utilisation patterns) across the entire projection period to 2025. All other scenarios show the same result as the comparison scenario, with an excess supply of oral health practitioners projected from 2014 onwards. Detailed results of each scenario are presented in Appendix C.

Table : Oral health practitioners, summary of workforce supply and demand projections, 2020 and 2025



Scenario

2020 (headcount) – Supply

2020 (headcount) – Demand

2020 (headcount) – Difference

2025 (headcount) – Supply

2025 (headcount) – Demand

2025 (headcount) – Difference

Comparison

4,538

3,060

1,478

5,545

3,135

2,410

Medium self-sufficiency

4,498

3,060

1,438

5,435

3,135

2,300

Productivity

4,538

2,961

1,577

5,545

2,978

2.567

Low demand

4,538

3,012

1,526

5,545

3,058

2,487

High demand

4,538

3,131

1,407

5,545

3,251

2,294

Initial undersupply

4,538

3,208

1,330

5,545

3,284

2,261

Initial oversupply

4,616

3,060

1,556

5,613

3,135

2,478

Graduate reduction

4,343

3,067

1,276

5,182

3,146

2,036

Workforce dynamics indicators


The WDI highlight aspects of the oral health practitioner workforce that may be of concern into the future. The assessment is based on data calculated in the comparison scenario, except for the duration of training indicator.

Table 6 presents the WDI results for oral health practitioners. It highlights no major areas of concern for this workforce, with most indicators rated as minimal concern. While the average age indicator is rated in the mid-range of the assessment scale, over the projection period this indicator also moves towards the ‘minimal concern’ rating.

Table : Oral health practitioners – summary of workforce dynamics indicators

Indicator

2014

2025

Average age

37 (intermediate concern)

34 (minimal concern)

Replacement rate

186% (minimal concern)

166% (minimal concern)

Dependence on IDGs

10% (minimal concern)

8% (minimal concern)

Duration of training programme

3 (minimal concern)

3 (minimal concern)

Percentage aged 55+ years

6% (minimal concern)

2% (minimal concern)

Annual change in average hours

0.03 (minimal concern)

-0.06 (minimal concern)

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