Focus on promotion and prevention roles

Minister outlines vision of new oral health policy

Health promotion and prevention of disease will play a central role in the new National Oral Health Policy according to the Minister of State for Health Promotion.

Speaking at the opening of the 13th annual conference of the Oral Health Promotion Research Group, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (pictured) said: “The new policy will aim to set out how services can be best integrated with general health services and aligned with the current and future needs of the population.”

The new oral health policy has been in the planning since 2014 and will replace the Dental Health Action Plan, which was published in 1994. The government has said that it will be completed by early 2017 with the overarching objective of developing a “single vision for oral health services in Ireland”.

The Oral Health Promotion Research Group – Irish Link was launched in September 2003 as a multidisciplinary group aiming to raise the status of oral health promotion in Ireland, through the dissemination of good practice based on sound theoretical framework and practical research. The group is supported by the Dental Health Foundation Ireland, which funds a bursary to facilitate oral health promotion and development within Ireland.

The theme of this year’s conference, ‘Promoting Oral Health: Challenge of a Lifetime’ reflected the importance of health promotion throughout the life course, from infancy to old age. Promoting, protecting and improving oral health is also a challenge that spans the career of those working in oral health.

The minister congratulated the Oral Health Promotion Research Group for organising another excellent annual conference and she thanked all members of the group for their hard work and dedication in continuing to raise the status of oral health promotion in Ireland.