Chifley kids to benefit from historic dental package

Residents in Chifley will soon be smiling after the announcement of the Gillard Government’s $4 billion dental package said Federal MP for Chifley Ed Husic.

“About 34,000 kids in Mt Druitt and Blacktown will now be eligible for government-subsidised dental care, just like they’re eligible for Medicare funded visits to their GP,” Mr Husic said.

Under the package, the Gillard Government will also provide dental services to more than one million low income adults and Australians in rural and remote areas, focusing especially on pensioners.

The six-year package includes:

$2.7 billion for around 3.4 million Australian children who will be eligible for subsidised dental care; $1.3 billion for around 1.4 million additional services for adults on low incomes, including pensioners and concession card holders, and those with special needs; who will have better access to dental care in the public system; and $225 million for dental capital and workforce will be provided to support expanded services for people living in outer metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas.

Mr. Husic said the package will address increasingly poor oral health amongst Australians, particularly people from low and middle income families.

“Unfortunately, millions of people miss out on vital dental visits because they simply can’t afford it – we know low income households have more than double the number of family members with untreated tooth decay compared with high income households.”
However, it was also learned that the Dental Care Plan on which many pensioners depend, will end on November 30 this year. The new $4 billion dental package will commence on January 2014. It follows that pensioners will have to fend for themselves for 12 months after November 30.