Services provided in NSW
The range of oral health services provided through the NSW public health system broadly includes:
- dental services to children and adults according to criteria that target emergency situations;
- those in most need; and,
- dental education and oral health promotional advice.
The services include general dentistry such as examinations, fillings, and dentures. These oral health services are delivered by each of the Local Health Districts.
There are over 170 public sector clinics in NSW. In addition, services are provided at 26 clinics in Justice and Forensic Mental Health facilities and one clinic at the Children’s Hospital Westmead.
The dental clinics may be based in schools, community health centres and hospitals within each Local Health District.
In some rural Local Health Districts mobile dental clinics are used and in some communities a private surgery may be rented to provide public sector oral health services. Adult services are provided through clinics often co-located with community health centres.
There are two teaching hospitals - the Westmead Centre for Oral Health and the Sydney Dental Hospital that also provide specialist services in their clinics and through outreach programs in rural public dental clinics. The specialist services include paediatric dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery, endodontics and periodontics.
Dental services are also provided by 18 Aboriginal Medical Services who are funded by NSW Ministry of Health.
Confirmation of eligibility
Prior to receiving care at each visit the patient is responsible for proving their eligibility, according to the eligibility criteria, by showing a valid Medicare card and, for adults, a valid concession card.
If a valid concession card cannot be produced, the patient must seek an interim voucher to establish that they are indeed eligible for care. The exception to this is where the person requires emergency treatment.
The patient may also be asked to produce secondary identification such as a drivers licence to confirm their identity. A formal letter of identification from a homelessness agency is also acceptable as a secondary identification.