Dr. Patrick Shanahan BDSc(WA) Dip PH(Syd) is a dentist and Oral Health Consultant. His particular interest and experience is in the Aged Care, Mental Health, Aboriginal Health, General Practice and Disability sectors. He is also the 
Developer and Founder of Denta-Med Products and Chairman of Oral Care Australia Pty Ltd
2023 - 2024
Senate Select Committee into the Provision of and Access to Dental Services in Australia / Final Report / Chapter 3 - PUTTING THE MOUTH BACK INTO THE BODY

3.7 According to Dr Shanahan, the blanket exclusion of oral and dental health services from health care and allied health services in Australia, fails to 'make the distinction between essential health care and dentistry'.[7] Dr Shanahan, NIOH, and others maintained that, while cosmetic dentistry may be seen to fall outside of the current legislative remit of Medicare, '[p]reventing infection is a medically necessary service and therefore essential health care'.[8]

Box 3.1 Dr Shanahan on putting the mouth back into the body

I'm here today to advocate on behalf of the 11.6 million Australians with chronic disease. This is a longstanding gap that affects them and the health system. It is the exclusion of oral health from primary health care.

Infection is infection irrespective of its location, and it's generally caused by pathogenic bacteria. The consequences are usually evident clinically but often the cause is not evident because bacteria are not visible and chronic infection is symptomless. So, besides clinical examination, investigation often requires radiography and microbiology, which are available to medical practitioners under Medicare but are not available to oral health providers.

Pathogenic oral bacteria have no boundaries. They can escape from the mouth and cause problems outside it, so this is a medical, not a dental, issue. Medical practitioners are responsible for healthcare outcomes. As soon as bacteria cause health problems, the priority is infection control. Medically necessary care is essential health care and is covered by Medicare legislation, but this is not. It is arbitrarily treated as dental and personal care and therefore excluded from Medicare legislation and health policies.[9]

2019 - 2023 Established the Inaugural Primary Health Care Oral Health Providers Association (PHCOHPA WA) to contract services to Aged Care, Mental Health and Community organisations.
2016 Victoria's leading Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Peter MacCallum - Dental Oncology Unit Endorsed Denta-Med as the preferred oral hygiene agent - for both preventative & symptomatic relief (of xerostomia)
2004 - 2012 Dr. Shanahan developed the inaugural Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme programs for General Practice, Mental Health, Disability and Aboriginal Health
1998 - 2003 Dr. Shanahan was appointed Oral Health Consultant to WA’s largest aged care group
1988 - 1997 Dr. Shanahan achieved an inaugural (WA) operated Commonwealth funded nursing home program to achieve better oral health outcomes; He contracted services to 30 Aged Care Facilities throughout WA  *1998 the program was terminated, due to a change in government funding (disappointingly, nothing replaced it)
1986  Dr. Shanahan resigned from Public Health Service to develop his own programs to assist nurses, doctors, and the medically compromised to achieve better oral health outcomes
1985 Diploma in Public Health University of Sydney. Thesis subject; Towards an Older Australia; Implications for Dentistry
1983 - 1986 Dental Public Health Research Officer, WA Public Health. His key research project was ‘Unmet Dental Treatment Needs of the Aged in WA'
1961 - 1982 Clinical dentistry - private practice