Child Dental Benefits Scheme in Forde must be Saved from Turnbull Government Cuts
29 Mar 2016
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR FORDE
KIDS’ DENTAL SCHEME FACING THE CHOP IN FORDE AND FADDEN
Families in Forde and Fadden will be amongst the hardest hit by Malcolm Turnbull’s move to axe the Child Dental Benefits Scheme.
Health Department figures show that families in Forde and Fadden are among the highest users of the scheme in Australia with postcodes 4207 (Beenleigh area) and 4209 (Coomera area) both featuring among the top 50 postcodes for services provided under the scheme.
However, Mr Turnbull has made clear the scheme is facing the chop, after refusing to rule out cutting it in Parliament earlier this month.
“we are working on dental reform and as part of that it is only natural that the Government considers the effectiveness of current programs.”
Malcolm Turnbull, Question Time, 17 March 2016
This is despite the fact that a review just published by the Department of Health hailed the scheme, which Labor initiated, as a “success”.
“the Panel noted the success of the CDBS in targeting the oral health of young Australians at an age where preventative measures can be most effective. It supported the right of every child to access dental treatment from both the private and the public sectors.”
Report on the Third Review of the Dental Benefits Act 2008
This scheme benefits thousands of kids in our communities, many of whom had never before been able to afford to see a dentist and abolishing it will have a devastating impact on young families in Forde and Fadden.
This is just the latest in a long line of attacks on dental health programs by the Liberals which has seen:
· $390 million cut from adult public dental services, worsening dental waiting lists across Australia.
· $225 million cut from Labor’s program to build dental clinics in regional Australia and nursing homes.
· $125.6 million already cut from the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.
Now, with the Prime Minister unprepared to consider serious tax reform, it appears the Liberals are resorting to yet another attack on health services.
This attack comes on top of Malcolm Turnbull’s $57 billion cut from hospitals, the four year freeze on Medicare rebates for GPs and his $650 million in cuts to Medicare rebates for pathology and diagnostic imaging.
TUESDAY, 29 MARCH 2016