'Number one priority': Council, doctors meet over fluoride
FLUORIDE will be the number one priority for Queensland's top medical professionals to discuss with Fraser Coast council today.
Dr Dilip Dhupelia, president of the Australian Medical Association Queensland, will meet with councillor Darren Everard, doctors and hospital officials to discuss a number of local health issues, including fluoridation of the region's water supply.
The organisation has already called on Local Government Minister, Stirling Hinchliffe, to resolve the impasse that has remained in place between councils and State Governments since major legislative amendments were passed by the Newman Government in 2012.
Speaking with the Chronicle yesterday, Dr Dhupelia said it was "number one priority" to make the Fraser Coast council reconsider their stance on fluoridation.
"I'm hoping we will be able to get them.... to debate it, or canvas the population, or if cost is a problem to be talking in a meaningful way with the State Government to see how they can solve this impasse," Dr Dhupelia said.
Do you think the Fraser Coast council made the right decision to remove fluoride from the water supply?
This poll ended on 03 November 2018.
Yes, it was the right decision for the community.
No, they should have kept it in the water supply.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Dr Dhupelia urged councillors to ignore the conspiracy theorists and instead follow the science.
Health Minister Steven Miles has echoed the call for councils to add fluoride to water supplies, saying it remains the cheapest and most effective way of providing oral health benefits to the community.
"This would be beneficial in Wide Bay HHS where more than half of children aged 5 to 14 years seen at local public dental services had experience some teeth decay," Mr Miles said.
The debate was reignited on the Fraser Coast in September after the Queensland branches of the Australian Medical and Dental Associations issued a blistering criticism of the council's decision to cease fluoridation in February 2013.
The Fluoride Act, passed by the Bligh Labor Government in 2008, required councils to add fluoride to town water supplies serving more than 1000 people. But legislative amendments by the Newman Government, passed in 2012, handed the choice to fluoridate back to councils.
Many of the state's largest communities, including Cairns, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Mackay, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Warwick and Stanthorpe, then opted to remove fluoride from the water supply.
Despite criticism from the health authorities, council CEO Ken Diehm said the community had not raised the issue with council to reverse their decision.
"The issue has not been raised with the council by residents and the council has not discussed the issue since fluoride was removed from the water supply," Mr Diehm said.