In 2007 five Māori health providers received one-off Ministry funding to purchase their capital requirements to deliver oral health services (the Project). Four providers built Mobile Dental Units and one provider developed a two-chair static clinic. The providers then signed contracts with DHBs for the support and delivery of new oral health services and/or to maintain or expand their existing oral health services.
Overall, providers’ well-developed oral health business cases, combined with Ministry support, funding and leverage, provided the mechanisms for DHB engagement with and support for Māori oral health service provision by Māori health providers. The Project therefore enhanced the position of the Māori health providers to deliver oral health services within their communities, and DHB understanding of Māori health provider capabilities and capacity.