A summary of an Institute of Medicine (IOM) workshop, called The U.S. Oral Health Workforce in the Coming Decade, now available online, says “the current oral health workforce fails to meet the needs of many segments of the U.S. population.”
Oral health experts and researchers, by way of presentations on oral health needs and workforce trends, focused on three main areas during the workshop:
Their conclusions led the IOM to state that a “variability in access to oral health services … often related to geography, insurance status, sociodemographic characteristics, and income levels…” creates many challenges.
Those challenges include:
The February 2009 IOM workshop, The Sufficiency of the U.S. Oral Health Workforce in the Coming Decade, was jointly sponsored by HRSA and the California HealthCare Foundation.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov.
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.