Fluoride vote could see more kids hospitalised: doctor
A MACKAY paediatrician says council's decision to take fluoride out of the region's water supply is "neglecting" children's health needs and could lead to an increase in hospitalisations.
Dr Michael Williams is "disappointed" by this morning's vote.
"It's very disappointing to hear that council has rejected the scientific expert opinion," he said.
"I think the people who will lose most will be the children of Mackay. It indicates a lack of responsibility to those children by the council."
Dr Williams said all of Mackay's paediatricians "strongly supported" retaining fluoride as a public health measure.
"I think they are neglecting their responsibility to children who aren't able to make health decisions for themselves," he said.
The paediatrician said he had noticed an improvement in children's dental health since fluoride was introduced to Mackay's water supply in 2009.
"And I think, as has been seen where other councils have taken the fluoride out, we've seen much more dental disease in children, often young children," he said.
"Often this requires hospitalisation for general anaesthetic and dental extractions. That has a serious impact on the child.
"It means we will be taken up our valuable hospital beds and valuable health care resources to treat a preventable disease."
Dr Williams said dental disease also affected other areas of children's health.