A $2.7 billion dental program has provided $1 million Australian children with free dental care could face the chop in the next budget, warns Australia’s peak dental body.
The scheme provides children with up to $1000 of dental treatment over a 2 year period.
As a result of the two year program, many children who have never seen a dentist before are presenting with decayed teeth requiring holes and extractions, say dentists.
More than a million children, far fewer than the anticipated 3 million, have recieved care under the means-tested scheme since it was introduced in 2014. Nearly all those children has been bulk-billed and 80% were treated by private dentists.
Health minister Susan Ley told a meeting of health and dental groups last week that she didnt think the means-tested scheme, designed to reach 3 million children in low-middle income families, was an effective use of funds and foreshadowed further changes.
In a bid to save the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, click the link below to sign the petition-