In addition to dental services provided in local health district clinics, NSW public oral health services may also offer dental care to eligible patients through a voucher scheme called the NSW Oral Health Fee for Service Scheme. Under this scheme, patients can be issued with a voucher by the public oral health service to receive care from a registered private dental provider. This helps public oral health services improve access to dental care and manage dental waiting lists.
The vouchers that can be issued under the Scheme cover emergency care, general dental care and dentures. The type of voucher issued is dependent on the dental needs of the patient as assessed by a public dental clinician. Eligible patients who receive a voucher will receive the same range of treatment services that are provided in a public oral health clinic.
Vouchers are not issued on the request of a patient. It is the responsibility of the public dental clinician who is providing the initial assessment to determine who will be issued with a voucher as well as the type of voucher. The issuing of vouchers is also dependent on the resources available to the local health district public oral health service, and this may vary over time.
It has been developed in consultation with the Australian Dental Association (NSW Branch) and it is reviewed on an annual basis.
For more information on the OHFFSS please see the Oral Health Fee For Service Scheme Brochure.
Where can I take my OHFFSS voucher?
Patients who have been issued with an OHFFSS voucher can use it with any private practitioner who is registered with the Scheme. A list of these private practitioners will be given to the patient when they are issued with a OHFFSS voucher.
Alternatively, patients can find a practitioner by accessing the OHFFSS website.
After receiving a voucher for treatment from a public oral health clinic a patient should:
- Contact the participating private dentist of their choice to arrange an appointment as soon as possible or within 10 days of the date on the Oral Health Treatment Voucher.
- Inform the participating dentist that they have been referred from a public dental clinic and require treatment under the NSW Oral Health Fee for Service Scheme.
When attending the appointment at the private dentist, the patient will need to;
- provide proof of identity and eligibility
- give the practitioner the Oral Health Treatment Authority Voucher, and
- certify that the required dental treatment has been satisfactorily completed by signing the Oral Health Treatment Voucher.
Please note: Any additional treatment offered by the private dentist outside what has been authorised on the voucher should be discussed and clearly understood as this may incur fees payable by the patient.
Registering with the scheme
Private practitioners must be registered for the Scheme. Registration for the scheme is now web based, through the OHFFSS Website.
The private dental practitioners and associated businesses are required to be approved by their local health district.
Each Local Health District has an OHFFSS Coordinator, who can assist practitioners with registration for the scheme, and assist with inquiries about vouchers issued by their local health district .
All private practitioners need to meet the mandatory requirements to participate in the Scheme. All personal information is be stored securely and only authorised local health district staff or OHFFSS administrators have access to this information. Practitioner information will only be used and disclosed for the purposes of the Scheme.
Policy directives and schedule of fees
The Oral Health Fee for Service Scheme policy directive (PD2016_018) provides the framework for the Oral Health Fee for Service Scheme.
The Oral Health Fee for Service Scheme Schedule of Fees Information Bulletin (IB2016_014) identifies the type of oral health care and full pricing provided under this scheme. These schedule of fees are reviewed annually by the Centre for Oral Health Strategy, local health districts and associated professional associations.
The OHFFSS Schedule of Fees for 2016 is benchmarked to Department of Veterans' Affairs November 2013 for episodic and general treatment (dentist rate) and dentures (dental prosthetist rate). The Bulletin also includes amendments to the Schedule of Fees and Section 16 ‘Maximum Entitlements’.
Private dental providers registered under the scheme should be familiar with these two documents.
Contact details and help lines
For enquiries regarding general questions about the OHFFSS web-based application or Ministry of Health policy and Schedule of Fees, please ring 1800 938 133
or email WSLHD-OHFFSS@health.nsw.gov.au
Access the OHFFSS web-based system