​A functional review of the NSW Department of Health in 2003 recommended the devolvement of the Oral Health Branch to an Area Health Service to undertake the responsibilities of  a state-wide oral health strategy and policy development unit.

As part of this wider review the Oral Health Branch was also subject to an independent review. The key findings from this review included a strategic shift towards a population oral health model for NSW and the development of a state-wide NSW Oral Health Strategic Plan.

Following a formal bidding process, the then Director-General of NSW Health determined that the Oral Health Branch would be devolved to Sydney West Area Health Service (now Western Sydney Local Health District) in late 2004.

As a result of this devolution the Oral Health Branch changed it's name to the Centre for Oral Health Strategy, NSW. The strategic and management links were to be maintained with the NSW Department of Health, Population Health Division by the Chief Dental Officer reporting directly to the Chief Health Officer/Deputy Director-General.

In parallel with these changes Healthy Mouths Healthy Lives: Australia’s National Oral Health Plan 2004-2013 was released in July 2004 and was endorsed in principle by NSW Health. In addition, the NSW Oral Health Promotion: Framework for Action 2010 was also completed after two years of development and consultation. The latter document provides an evidence-base for a range of population health strategies that are in keeping with the national oral health plan. The use of these two documents within the overarching strategic intent of population health in NSW was endorsed in principle by the Deputy Director-General, Population Health Division in 2005.

In February 2007, A new direction for NSW: State Health Plan Towards 2010 was released. This plan reflects the health priorities in the NSW Government’s State Plan with strategies based on evidence of what works and challenging targets set for the future. Seven strategic directions were featured in this document and have been integrated into the body of the NSW Oral Health Strategic Directions 2005-2010.

As a follow up document to this, the Oral Health 2020: A Strategic Framework for Dental Health in NSW has been developed. This sets the platform for oral health action in NSW into the next decade. It also provides an overview of the oral health status of the population, outlines the goals for oral health services, describes target groups that require focussed efforts, and outlines the high level actions that will be pursued to improve the oral health of the population.

The Framework will support the NSW Ministry of Health and Local Health Districts  to plan and deliver priority programs tailored to the health needs of the population at both a state and local level. It also acknowledges the significant role the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI), the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC), the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI), and NSW Kids and Families will have in contributing to improved oral health in NSW.
Page Updated: Friday 28 February 2014