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Issue #1547      16 May 2012

Budget 2012-13

Greens get dental reform

In the lead up to the Budget Greens Christine Milne and Richard Di Natale successfully negotiated an overhaul of Australia’s dental system.

“This is the most important dental reform in a generation, it couldn’t have happened without the Greens in the balance of power – and it couldn’t have happened without you keeping Denticare on the national agenda with passionate public support,” the Greens told its supporters.

A package of dental reforms that they negotiated with the government will help people get dental treatment faster and get the workforce ready for a national scheme.

The reforms mean:

  • $345.9 million for a public dental waiting list blitz, to help the 400,000 Australians on public waiting lists get treatment faster;
  • The Chronic Dental Disease Scheme will be saved from Budget cuts, until we can develop a comprehensive national scheme with the government to replace it;
  • $158.6 million to train more dentists and oral health therapists, and help dental professionals set up practices in rural areas; and,
  • $10.5 million to promote good oral health.

The Greens members said that this package is exactly the outcome needed to start Australia on the road to Denticare. The next steps by the Greens and supporters are already being taken and will continue in the coming months. There will be negotiations with the government to design a scheme to help Australians access the dental care they need. ”We’re all going to need to keep the campaign going to get the best outcome from those negotiations: bringing dental care into Medicare at last,” said Richard Di Natale.

“The 1.6 million of you who voted us into the balance of power gave us the leverage we needed to get the government to commit to dental health in our agreement. Since then a groundswell of public support, one of the biggest we’ve seen, has backed Denticare every step of the way.

“Together, we’ve secured major steps along the road to solving Australia’s dental crisis.”  

Next article – May Day 2012

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