'Population at risk from no fluoridation': Coast doctor
A HERVEY Bay general practitioner has joined a growing chorus of medical experts calling for the council to reintroduce fluoride to the Fraser Coast water supply.
Dr Nick Yim, who works at Main St Medical Centre, claims the Fraser Coast population has been put "at risk" by the Fraser Coast Regional Council's decision to stop fluoridation five years ago.
It comes after leading medical bodies issued a statement accusing the councils in the Fraser Coast, Bundaberg, North Burnett and South Burnett shires of "condemning local communities to a dental dark age".
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Dr Yim told the Chronicle he regularly received visits from patients complaining of dental pain at his clinic.
"While we do have a lengthy wait time on dental service in the region, a common complaint is related to signs of tooth decay," Dr Yim said.
"(The Fraser Coast) is missing out on a safe, cost-effective way of preventing tooth decay."
While Dr Yim said dental problems in the region were a "multi-factorial issue" that included lack of access to dental care services, he said one way to assist the community would be fluoridation of the water supply.
"Based on studies, it (fluoride) does reduce tooth decay by as much as 40 per cent," he said.
Queensland councils were handed the authority to stop fluoridation after a State Government legislative amendment in 2012.
Fraser Coast councillors voted 8-3 in February 2013 to stop fluoridation.
Councillor Anne Maddern said the council could revisit the issue if there was a renewed push from the community, but told the Chronicle it had not been raised with her yet.
She said it appeared to be a "non-issue up until this point" that came "out of the blue from an organisation outside the Fraser Coast council area".
Council CEO Ken Diehm said the issue had not been raised with council by residents since 2013, and the council had not discussed the issue since then.