A recent article in the Australian newspaper reported that the government was considering changes to the way the state and territory governments deal with dental injuries, and said the proposal would include requiring dental practitioners to wear a helmet.
Dental staff are often at risk of injuries from car collisions and other motor vehicle accidents, so the idea is to require dentists to wear helmets as a precaution.
The proposal is also expected to involve increased funding for dentists, with the state’s $20 million dental plan for 2019-20 earmarked for the helmet requirement.
“We are working on the helmet for dental assistants, for dental hygienists and for the dental team, so that we have a better picture of the extent of the problem and how to address it,” Dr John McPhee, who chairs the dental council’s board of governors, told the ABC.
Dr McPheese said that as a result of a recent study of coronavirus-related dental injuries across the country, the plan was being discussed as part of a broader plan to reduce dental costs in the coming year.
He said the proposed changes were a necessary one to tackle the situation, but it was also likely to have the side effect of reducing access to dental care for Australians who were more vulnerable to the virus.
When contacted for comment, the Department of Health said it had not yet received the report and would not comment further until the paper was published.
However, the department said it was currently reviewing its approach to preventing dental injuries from the coronaviral pandemic, and was working with the Australian Dental Association to ensure the helmet proposal was included in its next health-focused policy update.
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