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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1844

Mr Street asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(1)   Did the Government consult the Australian Dental Association prior to the decision to send dental therapy trainees to New Zealand.

(2)   Is it a fact that, in the opinion of the Australian Dental Association, dental therapists in New Zealand are trained on equipment which is in some cases outdated.

(3)   If so, will the new trainees sent to New Zealand have to do a refresher course on their return to Australia.

(4)   Will some of the trainees sent to New Zealand do the second year of their course in Australia.

Dr Everingham - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   No.

(2)   It is understood that the Australian Dental Association has some reservations concerning the dental equipment used in dental therapist training schools in New Zealand.

(3)   Australian students returning from New Zealand will attend brief orientation courses to familiarise them with Australian conditions.

(4)   Yes. Forty students, who will commence their training in Christchurch in September 1973, will return to Australia for the second year of their course when they undertake their clinical training. This is necessary because the effectiveness of the New Zealand school dental program has reduced the prevalence of dental disease to such an extent that there is a shortage of clinical material for teaching purposes.

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