ADAVB Chief Executive Officer's Comments
July 2018 Hide Comments

Seeing results for our advocacy work.


Our members consistently tell us that the advocacy work we do is one of their key reasons for being a member. In many instances, this advocacy is intangible and hard to put a value on for members.

However, recently we have seen some tangible benefits to two advocacy activities that will benefit both members and their patients.

1. Transport Accident Commission (TAC) The ADAVB had a very productive meeting with the TAC recently to discuss issues that members have raised through the Third Party Committee. These issues included:

  • Understanding the new TAC preapproved service model
  • The procedure for charging gap fees
  • The language that TAC uses in relation to dental fees
  • The TAC fee schedule.

The major change that the TAC had recently implemented was a system where dental services do not require prior approval and there will not be a requirement for practitioners to submit treatment plans for approval prior to commencing treatment. There will be more information on these changes in the next newsletter.

Members will be pleased to learn that the TAC agreed to change the language on their website, removing the term ‘reasonable fees’, which inferred that some dentists were charging unreasonable fees. Furthermore, the TAC agreed to review their fee schedule after we pointed out the significant differences between most fee items and the average fees charged by dentists and dental specialists. A new fee schedule was implemented on 1 July 2018, which resulted in an average increase of fees by 24 per cent for general dentists, with the majority of items seeing an increase in fees.

2. Public sector Around 15 per cent of Victorian dentists work in the public dental system, providing much needed care to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our state. These dentists are paid on average 40 per cent less than their counterparts in other jurisdictions, which impacts significantly on the ability to recruit and retain experienced clinicians.

ADAVB and Professionals Australia have been working with members on their Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, which expired nearly 12 months ago. Members recently took the unprecedented step of applying to the Fair Work Commission to hold a Protected Action Ballot to take industrial action. Negotiations with the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association had reached an impasse, and the members felt it was necessary to take this step towards industrial action. It is important that public sector dentists are members of the ADAVB and nominate us as their bargaining representative so they can participate in the ballot and subsequent industrial action.

Queen’s Birthday Honours

It was pleasing to see dentists recognised in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours list, including former ADAVB President Dr Gerard Condon AM. Dr Condon has been active in the dental profession through various roles including with Australian Dental Council, Dental Practice Board of Victoria and Dental Board of Australia, and as a clinical demonstrator at The University of Melbourne.


Dr Elishka Marvan, an oral medicine specialist, passed away on 8 June 2018 after a long battle with cancer. Elishka will be known to many members through her teaching at The University of Melbourne over many years, and her work at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Her contributions to the profession will be missed.

Portrait unveiling

I recently attended the unveiling of a portrait for Emeritus Professor Eric Reynolds AO, former Head of the Melbourne Dental School. There has been a long-standing tradition to commemorate the past leaders of the school, and this was an opportunity to celebrate Eric’s amazing career, and the significant contribution that he has made (and continues to make) to the dental profession.

A/Prof Matt Hopcraft

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Clinical A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft
Chief Executive Officer
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