Oral Health – progress?

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Alliance is a member of the National Oral Health Alliance (NOHA). NOHA is an organisation that brings together a dozen bodies keen to work with governments to achieve better access for those currently disadvantaged with respect to access to oral health services, in order to improve Australia's record on oral health status.

The NRHA has been and remains a strong supporter in NOHA, including by providing practical assistance with administrative support.  NOHA is seeking to ensure that oral health receives adequate attention as part of current and forthcoming discussions and policy processes concerning primary care.  There are encouraging indications of interest from decision-makers in the Commonwealth sphere, including advice that the Department of Health is currently looking to develop an oral health strategy.  NOHA will continue to seek close engagement with this work and other opportunities as they develop.

As ever, it is important to bring examples of good, innovative research and practice into view as reform options begin to take shape. This includes projects developed under the (now defunded) RHCE2 program, and other valuable work that continues. One such example is the (Rural) Engaging rural communities in oral health (or ECOH) study, funded by the NHMRC: a cross-sectoral collaboration involving six rural communities in Victoria and Queensland. The Rural ECOH project team are holding a series of translation meetings so that the community-driven research findings help shape development of sustainable health service development in communities. The next meeting is scheduled for 24 February in Townsville.  Participation is welcome, in person or by phone and video link. More information is available here or by contacting Dr Karen Carlisle at kcarlisle@naphl.com.au.