Sep 18, 2007

Federal Labor announces establishment of Commonwealth Dental Health Program

Federal Labor announces establishment of Commonwealth Dental Health Program

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

18 September 2007

Today, Federal Labor Leader Kevin Rudd and Shadow Minister for Health Nicola Roxon announced the first instalment of Labor’s Commonwealth Dental Health Program.

The Program will fund up to one million additional dental consultations for Australians needing dental treatment.

I am frequently contacted by people in my electorate who are suffering because they can’t afford dental care. You shouldn’t have to choose between paying bills and going to the dentist, but that is the painful reality for many in Grayndler, who are already struggling to cope with the rising costs of living.

Federal Labor’s plan is the first part of a strong response to the dental crisis.

Over the past 11 years, the Howard Government has withdrawn $1.1 billion in dental services. The 2007 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report reveals the extent of the problem:

  • 30% of Australians reported avoiding dental care due to cost; 
  • 20.6% said that cost had prevented them from having recommended dental treatment; and 
  • 18.2% reported that they would have a lot of difficulty paying a $100 dental bill.

Only the election of a Rudd Labor Government will bring relief to the some 650,000 Australians on public dental waiting lists around the country.