Impact of initiatives to reduce public dental waiting lists in Queensland, Australia
Information on public dental service waiting lists is available as part of the Queensland Government open data policy. Data were analysed for the period December 2012 to December 2013, to present the total number and percentage of people waiting for care and who have waited beyond the desirable period. Over the 1-year study period, the number of people on the waiting list decreased from 130 546 to 77 146, a difference of 40.9%. A decrease of 80.6% was found for those waiting beyond the desirable period for care. The largest decrease was for general care (44.9%). The initiatives to reduce the public dental waiting list appear to have been successful in significantly reducing the number of people waiting in general and especially those waiting beyond the desirable period. The initiatives to decrease waiting lists represent a downstream approach and are less likely to have any significant impact on the prevention of oral diseases. As waiting lists are reduced, more emphasis should be placed on upstream approaches such as health promotion, specific protection measures and targeting high-risk individuals for oral diseases.
Australian Journal of Primary Health
Dentistry not elsewhere classified