Vic public dentists strike for pay boost

Up to 100 Victorian public dentists won't check teeth for half an hour because of a pay dispute.
Up to 100 Victorian public dentists won't check teeth for half an hour because of a pay dispute.

Up to 100 Victorian public dentists won't check teeth for half an hour as they band together for more pay and reduced patient treatment wait times.

The Australian Dental Association's Victorian branch wants a 19.2 per cent wage rise over four years for community health dentists to bring their pay in line with public hospital colleagues' wages.

Dentists involved in the action will strike from 12.30pm to 1pm on Wednesday.

"We don't think that public dentistry and public dentists are being respected enough for the work that they do," ADA's Victorian branch head Matthew Hopcraft told AAP.

"We're calling on the Victorian government to more adequately fund the public dental system so patients can see better outcomes."

He said pay disparity was affecting recruitment and retention of public dentists while wait times had blown out by 67 per cent over the past three years.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy said some of the industrial action was the result of negotiations about how much the federal government will spend on public dental.

"The agreement that we have with the commonwealth expires at the end of this year and the commonwealth are providing no new information about where additional funding might be coming from in the future," Ms Hennessy said.

More stoppages of administrative tasks have been flagged as possibilities down the track.

Australian Associated Press