Reform of the Dental Council of New Zealand

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The New Zealand Dental Council (DCNZ) has failed in their core purpose of protection of the health and safety of New Zealanders and must be reformed.

Repeatedly during this pandemic, it has failed to provide timely guidelines to oral health practitioners resulting in unnecessary disruption of dental care and adverse health outcomes. This inaction will cause ongoing problems for New Zealanders trying to access care over the coming months. 

Delays in providing adequate guidelines have also caused ongoing mental and financial stress to a large number of oral health practitioners.

The DCNZ has demonstrated a long standing unwillingness to ask for and receive help and in a time of crisis this has been to the detriment of all New Zealanders. 

These latest deficiencies add to a series of concerns oral health practitioners have been developing with the DCNZ's role and function that includes a lack of transparency with regards to how councillors are appointed, poor communication and support and inadequately dealing with patient complaints. 

The structure and makeup of the council is not fit for purpose, and their attitude towards practitioners themselves is concerning. This has now led to a widespread lack of confidence in the current DCNZ.

We are registered oral health practitioners currently practising in New Zealand, and these views are our own personal views, this has been written without the involvement of any affiliated associations or groups. We do not stand to gain financially from this petition.

We would like the Ministry of Health to review the structure and function of the Dental Council of New Zealand to prevent these failings occurring again and to ensure the oral health of the New Zealand public is protected at all times.