New Zealanders have voted strongly in agreement with a policy of free dental care, according to a 1 NEWS Facebook poll.
It asked, "Should dental care be free?"
The question came after calls for more affordable dental care in New Zealand mentioned recently by former Prime Minister Helen Clark.
In the non-scientific poll, 4,600 voted for free dental care and only 93 voted against.
The top comment was from reader Cathryn Lucy who wrote: "Not free, but subsidised would be very useful, and to all those people saying 'but that makes tax note expensive!' - so what? I'd happily pay more tax for subsidised dental care just like we do health care."
Paulus Chapman commented: "People need to be realistic. The average hourly rate for a Dental Surgeon in NZ is over $400 P/H. It's a great idea, but, how do we as a Country 100 per cent subsidize that? It could be subsidized to a degree, but, not 100%, the cost would be too immense."
Alley Wealleans wrote: "Yes it should be [free], or if not free at least maybe a one off fee."
Jenny Jury Tooth commented: "Tooth issues can mean time off work, infections more time off work perhaps job loss. Get it sorted and no job loss no extra cost due to constant infections."