Minister’s PAEC performance raises more questions than answers

In PAEC today Health Minister Jenny Mikakos either didn’t know the answers or deliberately refused to answer key questions on school dental vans. School dental vans are due to commence operation in a few months but the Andrews Labor Government can’t or won’t answer basic questions.

In another sign that the Andrews Labor Government is not across the detail, the Minister was unable to answer questions on:

• The cost of the screening and treatment vans;

• How many schools or students would be involved in the pilot program;

• The number of staff required for the full rollout of the program;

• The number of paediatric specialists required for any follow up dental treatment;

• Where they would source the medical equipment from;

• The security and warehousing of dental vans during holiday periods, and

• The motor vehicle licensing requirements for the vans and drivers.

• Why there was no tender process for the first 10 dental van procurement;

• Why the chassis of the dental vans were sourced from Europe;

• Why the government didn’t follow procurement policies;

The inability to answer key questions follows on from funding cuts detailed in the State Budget. Despite a $395.8 million election commitment, the Andrews Labor Government only provided $321.9 million for the program, an 18.7% cut.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Georgie Crozier:

“Daniel Andrews and Jenny Mikakos have already cut more than $73 million in funding for dental vans.

Now the Andrews Labor Government can’t even say how many school children this dental program will help.

This is an expensive but very important program but already it has all the hallmarks of typical Labor mismanagement.”

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