New South Wales is proposing to amend the state’s health laws to make it an offence to refuse to provide dental services.
The bill was introduced by the state Government earlier this week, which was first reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.
It would make it a criminal offence to fail to provide a service, and would be punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.
“This legislation is not about punishing the dentist or the dentist’s client,” Health Minister John Robertson said.
“It is about the fact that we need to get this right and we will.”
He said it would not be a “cure” to not provide dental care.
“The government of New South Welsh is committed to a national dental health policy and will continue to pursue the implementation of our national dental policy, as well as other policies, such as a ban on the sale of plastic dental floss, which is not the case in New South South Wales,” he said.
He said the legislation would also target the sale and supply of devices that cause harm to teeth.
The move comes after several recent attacks on dentists.
Last month, a man in New York was found to have been biting his own face off with a sawblade after being refused service.
Earlier this year, a dentist in Queensland was charged with assaulting his own patients, and was later sentenced to two years in prison.
Mr Robertson said the new legislation was designed to ensure New South Australians had the right to dental care without fear of prosecution.
“That is the aim of the legislation and that is what we are trying to achieve,” he told the ABC.
“I think the legislation, at the moment, does not apply to other services, like for example, a dental assistant.”
What we are seeking to do is ensure that any person who refuses to provide service to a patient is subject to criminal proceedings.
“He also said the bill would not affect the availability of services to the public.
Topics:health,community-and-society,government-and.government-to-government,dental-health,nsw,australiaFirst posted January 13, 2020 09:24:48Contact Tim LeakMore stories from New South, South Australia