In November 2019, the National Party issued their Policy Discussion document. Their proposed health policy is now focussed on the Scottish CHILDSMILE programme and there is no mention of fluoridation.
National Discussion Document – (https://www.national.org.nz/health Dental health can be found on page 9.)
The consequences of poor oral health can be permanent but even simple dental treatments like fillings can cost thousands of dollars. National believes it is important to focus on ensuring and maintaining good oral health in the early years.
It’s been reported that almost 120,000 children are overdue for their dental checks and 29,000 have teeth extracted due to decay. National will increase funding for the school dental service to ensure every school-aged child has appropriate access to good oral health.
Oral health is the best example of where prevention is being better than cure. We’re proposing a comprehensive programme to improve children’s dental health. We have studied the Childsmile programme implemented in Scotland, which provides information around good oral hygiene and daily supervised tooth brushing in nurseries. In Scotland it cost 1.3million pounds (NZ$2.6m) but saved 6million pounds (NZ$12m) in dental costs and we propose a similar programme for New Zealand.
• National will improve the school dental service to ensure every school-aged child has appropriate access to good oral health.
• National proposes to implement a comprehensive programme to improve paediatric and health similar to Scotland’s Childsmile. Programme.