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The new dental plan … will you be eligible?

If you watched the news this week you’ve probably heard about the Federal Government’s $4 billion Dental Health Reform package.

I didn’t … my TV was either off – thanks to our new TV stays off (sometimes) policy – or tuned to ABC 4 Kids … so thankfully the Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek included the Bub Hub in a conference call to parenting media outlets.

So, the bit that you’ll be most interested in is this:

“Children aged two to 17 in Family Tax Benefit Part A-eligible families will be entitled to subsidised basic dental treatment, capped at $1000 per child over a two-year period.”

The other bits that may interest you (as they came as quite a surprise to me) were these stats taken from a report by the National Advisory Council on Dental Health

  • Almost 20,000 kids under the age of 10 are hospitalised each year due to avoidable dental issues
  • By age 15, 6 out of 10 kids have tooth decay
  • If you earn more than $60,000 a year, you have, on average, 7 more teeth than Australia’s poorest people (<$20,000).
  • 45.1% of 12 year olds had decay in their permanent teeth .
  • In 2007, just under half (46%) of children aged 6 attending school dental services had a history of decay in their baby teeth

Oh – do you remember the school dentist van? I was so scared of those women!

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3 comments so far -

  1. Im from norway where ALL kids aged 0-16 get free dental.
    I think that is brilliant. Its through school, so once a year you go to the school dentist, have a check up and will be treated shortly after if you have a cavity or decay…
    I think australia could easily do the same, for all kids… And im not impressed until they do…

    • Queensland already offers free dental care from the age of 4 to Grade 10/15yrs for all kids regardless of income however due to the extent of treatment needed from so many kids and the little staff employed that it can take years to get a check up in the school dental service. In my district there is one dental therapist for over 8000 kids and she is really bogged down.

  2. Nope, not eligible, like most of the people I know.
    Actually, we are able to afford dental treatment anyway, but I’d like to see the detail.
    Like, f’rinstance, are the “schedule fees” going to be based on reality, or will the gap be so large that most people can’t afford to have treatment anyway?
    And why couldn’t some of that money have gone to existing public dental clinics to help fund more services with existing infrastructure?



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