|Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Oral Health
© Commonwealth of Australia 2014
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The Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Oral Health Overview report was developed by Health Workforce Australia with the input of key stakeholders for the consideration of Commonwealth, State and Territory Health Ministers.
Health Workforce Australia was abolished on 8 October 2014.
The Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Oral Health Overview report was approved for publication by the Commonwealth and all State and Territory Health Ministers on 10 October 2014.
The recommendations contained in the Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Oral Health Overview report will be the subject of further consideration.
Enquiries concerning this report and its reproduction should be directed to:
Department of Health
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601
Suggested citation: Health Workforce Australia 2014: Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Oral Health – Overview
List of tables 5
List of figures 6
Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Oral health 8
Key points of the Report 10
Australia’s Future Health Workforce Reports 12
Oral health in Australia 13
The importance of oral health 14
Oral health services in Australia 15
Public services 16
Private services 19
What workforces deliver oral health services? 20
Policy context 21
How does HWA assess oral health workforce requirements? 22
Workforce planning methodology 23
What workforces are included in AFHW – Oral Health? 29
We have extra capacity in the oral health workforce 30
Differences in oral health outcomes and services 34
Demand for oral health services 35
Barriers to access 37
Link between oral health and access to services 38
Populations for specific action 39
Dental visiting patterns of populations identified for specific action 46
Children (aged two to 12 years) 47
Other populations identified for specific action 49
What would happen if we increased services to populations identified for specific action? 54
Projecting workforce supply 55
Projecting workforce demand 56
Appendix A – Current adult oral health services provided by the States and Territories 64
Appendix B – Current child oral health services provided by the States and Territories 68
Appendix C – Commonwealth oral health programmes 72
Appendix D – Oral health workforce roles and definitions 74
Appendix E – Methodology 76
Supply methodology 77
Demand methodology 83
Accuracy of workforce projections 89
Appendix F – Data sources 90
Workforce supply data sources and data items 91
Workforce demand data sources and data items 93
Appendix G – Workforce planning scenario results 95
List of tables
Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Oral health
Demand for oral healthcare services is expected to continue to grow in response to population growth, increased tooth retention into older age, greater awareness of the importance of oral health, and more advanced restorative procedures and technologies.1 Recent federal funding can also be expected to have flow-on implications for the oral health workforce.
It is therefore timely for Health Workforce Australia (HWA) to examine the oral health workforce, with a focus on workforce planning projections. In particular, this work will complement the National Oral Health Plan 2014-2023, providing a strong evidence-base for recommendations made on the oral health workforce.
Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Oral Health (AFHW – Oral Health) provides the results of the oral health workforce planning projections conducted by HWA. It is presented in two publications.
AFHW – Oral Health – Overview. This publication presents HWA’s workforce planning projections for the total oral health workforce, along with a brief description of Australia’s oral health services and demand for those services, particularly among specific population groups (children, older people, low income and socially disadvantaged people, people with special needs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people living in rural and remote areas).
AFHW – Oral Health – Detailed. This publication supports the overview, and provides:
Information on the methodology used to generate the workforce projections for individual oral health workforces.
Workforce planning projection results for dentists, oral health practitioners (comprised of dental hygienists, dental therapists and oral health therapists) and dental prosthetists.
Workforce profiles for each oral health workforce, including a brief overview of their role and training pathway, presentation of information describing the number and characteristics of the existing workforce, a summary of issues expected to impact supply and/or demand for the workforce, and an assessment of existing workforce position (whether workforce supply matches demand for services or not).