Kiwis in favour of raising age free dental care can be accessed - poll suggests

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1 NEWS

New Zealanders are in favour of increasing the age young people can access free dental care from 17 to 20, according to a poll conducted on social media. 

A leading researcher says dental care is being treated like a luxury.

Source: 1 NEWS

The unscientific 1 NEWS Facebook poll which asked if the age of free dental care should increase, after a story about a charitable dentist who started a petition asking for changes to New Zealand dental care. 

Dr Assil Russell of Revive A Smile suggests subsidised dental care for at-need communities, the age for access to free dental care increased to 20, and the removal of GST from dental services.

The 1 NEWS poll asks: "Should Kiwis up to the age of 20 get free dental care?"

Only 66 people were against the notion, with 970 people voting in favour. 

Commenter Erin Collard wrote on the post: "For all ages it needs to at least be subsidised. Receiving dental care as needed is so out of reach for me."

Cash-strapped residents of the Hawke's Bay town are keen to take up the volunteer dentists' services.
Source: 1 NEWS

Claire Butler said: "People need to take responsibility for their own teeth, free dental visit right up until they leave school, so if one can't look after their teeth by then, well I'm sorry, but they never will."

Megan Joy wrote: "I'd prefer if everyone got subsidised [dental]. Nobody needs free dental. Everybody needs to be able to afford to go to the dentist. We all need to help each other. Our taxes should go to help everyone."

Trish Hare commented: "When the cost of extraction is more than a day and a half's work, then you know that dentistry is beyond the reach of the majority."

Helen Clark has urged the government to make dental care fully funded, but Dr Assil Russel says that would be a hard task.
Source: Breakfast

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