The scheme will be serving 3.4 million children
Carmichael, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/20/2012 -- Low income adults can now look forward to a huge $4-billion health expansion in public dental services beginning mid-2014.
The good news comes with a hint of bad, as the expansion of the dental services means that the current lavish scheme focused on the chronically ill will lose out from the end of this year.
Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, has said that the new scheme was an “unprecedented initiative” that would combat the increasingly poor oral health among low and middle-income families.
The plan came about after an agreement was reached with the Greens, which enabled the axing of the present chronic disease dental scheme. It has allowed for the arrangement of $2.7 billion for 3.4 million children from low and middle-income families. The treatments are capped at $1, 000 over any two-year period starting from January of 2014.
''We will have a generation of kids for whom going to the dentist is as easy as going to the doctor,'' Plibersek said
The President of the Australian Dental Association, Shane Fryer, said the focus on children and those in need ''may also result in a long-term saving for government and the community by minimizing long-term deterioration in dental health''.
Plibersek added that the funding included $1.3 billion to states and territories to expand services for low-income adults but dependent on the states and territories maintaining the spending. More dental facilities, dentists, and therapists are required in time to come and that means another $225 million will be required.
The policy has won wide support from dental, consumer, and public health groups. Senator Di Natale said that enabling children to see private dentists would reduce the demand on public clinics, opening the way for more adult-aged patients.
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