The Green Party in New Zealand has proposed a policy to make dental care free for all residents in the country.
The plan includes the creation of the New Zealand Dental Service, which would offer free annual check-ups, cleanings, and various dental treatments such as fillings, sealants, and tooth removals. The initiative would also involve mobile dental vans, portable clinics, and funding for community dental clinics, including those located on marae (Māori meeting grounds). Additionally, specialised care would be provided for individuals experiencing significant pain, requiring oral surgery, or needing complex treatment.
To meet the increased demand for dentists, the Green Party aims to remove the cap on training placements and provide support to encourage more Māori and Pasifika individuals to pursue careers in dentistry. The party intends to fund this initiative through an overhaul of the tax system.
The goal behind this proposal is to address the issue of oral health being a luxury that many cannot afford, with millions of people in New Zealand postponing dental visits due to the high costs. By implementing free dental care for all, the Green Party aims to improve overall oral health and accessibility to dental services for everyone in the country.