Illawarra primary school students will miss out on free dental health care initially.
But Wollongong MP Paul Scully fears there is a chance the region could miss out altogether on the roll-out of the NSW Government's $70 million free Primary School Mobile Dental Program.
The program is due to roll-out over the next four years with primary school children in Western Sydney, the Mid North Coast and the Central Coast among the first to benefit.
Responding to questions from Mr Scully, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said "an evaluation of the program will inform future Government decisions".
The Primary School Mobile Dental Program would provide 35 new mobile dental clinics treating up to 136,000 primary school children annually.
It appears that whether the Illawarra's school children will benefit from the Primary School Mobile Dental Program will largely depend on the results of the evaluation in other parts of NSW.Wollongong MP Paul Scully
If clinically indicated and if parents have consented, at their first appointment children will receive a comprehensive examination, dental x-rays, dental clean, flouride varnish application and fissure sealants.
Mr Scully said he would be extremely disappointed if the Illawarra's primary school children missed out on the free dental health care the NSW Government had promised would be delivered at the election.
"It appears that whether the Illawarra's school children will benefit from the Primary School Mobile Dental Program will largely depend on the results of the evaluation in other parts of NSW.
"I am hoping that the program runs effectively so that our primary aged schools children don't miss out on free dental health care," he said.
The program will be delivered by experienced NSW Health staff, who will use fully equipped dental vans and portable dental equipment set up on school grounds.
Meantime, all children under 18 years of age can access free dental care provided by NSW Health at public dental clinics. Some children may also be eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.