Working Group on Oral Health and Dental Care convenes first meeting (with photo)


     The Working Group on Oral Health and Dental Care convened its first meeting today (February 28) to discuss its future work as well as key issues for follow-up. The meeting was chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Health, Mr Thomas Chan. In addition to the non-official members, representatives of the Health Bureau, the Department of Health, the Education Bureau and the Labour and Welfare Bureau also attended the meeting.
     At today’s meeting, members of the Working Group were briefed on the prevailing dental care policy and public dental services, and exchanged views on the future work of the Working Group. The Working Group was of the view that enhancing the overall level of citizens’ oral health should be the objective under which the scope and effectiveness of the existing oral health measures as well as dental care services are to be examined and suggestions be made on the long-term strategic development for oral health and dental care.  The Working Group also consolidated the following framework to form the basis of which enhancements to oral health measures and dental care services are to be discussed:
(a) To determine the service scope of primary dental services suitable for different age groups with the premise of preventing oral diseases and enhancing the oral health of the community in line with the Primary Healthcare Blueprint;
(b) To define various underprivileged groups, groups with special needs and those of relatively higher risks, and review the existing needs and service coverage with a view to providing more targeted dental care services;
(c) To review the manpower resources and related training arrangements of various dental professionals to tie in with the strategic development needs of the overall oral health and dental care; and
(d) To review the complementary arrangements for dental services, including the models and financial arrangements under which services provided or subsidised by the public sector are delivered as well as the use of electronic health record, with a view to ensuring service efficacy.
     Mr Thomas Chan said, “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all members of the Working Group for their active discussion as well as offering valuable advice on various aspects of oral health and dental care services during the discussion at the meeting today. The Government will join hands with the Working Group to work collaboratively in enhancing Hong Kong’s overall oral health and providing more effective dental care services. We will, having regard to the comments raised by members, make arrangements for the overall review work plan and discussion agendas, and formulate a proposed schedule for the Working Group, such that the Working Group may put forward concrete proposals in phases during its term.”
     The Government established the Working Group on Oral Health and Dental Care on December 30, 2022, to advise the Government on various aspects of oral health and dental care services. The Working Group comprises 13 non-official members and five ex-officio members. Non-official members consist of representatives from the dental profession, healthcare sector, collaborating non-governmental organisations of government-subsidised dental care programmes, as well as well-regarded and relevant community personalities.