Dental professionals have been praised and thanked for the work they do for the disadvantaged children in our society and for showing courage and resilience towards those who criticise their stance on community water fluoridation.
At an annual educational day for dental professionals in Hamilton today, Waikato DHB chief executive Craig Climo said he had seen the personal toll support of fluoridation and of other health measures like vaccination, takes on people working in health.
Mr Climo resigned late last year and leaves Waikato DHB before August.
“If I had my time again I would have loved to have put more money into oral health because I am concerned about the issues of pain and the stigmatising of people who have poor oral health,” he said.
On the issue of community water fluoridation, Mr Climo said he was “quite happy” that individuals had their own opinion but they were not entitled to their own science.
“They are middle class conspiracy theorists who seem able to capture our community decision makers.
“Fluoride is for the people who don’t have the same opportunities they have and we have to think about the benefit for the whole community.”
Mr Climo said referenda held alongside local body elections in Hamilton, Whakatane and Hastings restored his faith in the public at large. Those who voted in those three areas overwhelmingly supported community water fluoridation.
In Hamilton it was close to 70 per cent.
“Hamilton City Council was very fast to take fluoride out of the water but they have been downright dilatory in putting it back in. In my mind that is a breach of faith.”
The key note speaker at The Big Day In is Prof Murray Thomson, Professor of Dental Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Otago.
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