The scheme provides eligible children with up to $1,000 in dental treatment every two years. Yet many parents still remain unaware the scheme exists, with the Abbott/Turnbull governments failing to promote it.
After deliberately hiding the scheme from parents, the Turnbull Government is now using that lack of promotion as cover to scrap a scheme its own Health Department has described as a “success”.
This morning Mr Jones joined Labor’s candidate for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, in visiting a dental practice in Leura. They spoke to Dr Rik Sandstrom about impact of scrapping a benefit of enormous value to local families.
Mr Jones said that the latest attack will be a real setback for low and middle income families in Macquarie.
“I am very concerned that this out of touch Government wants to take away a scheme that makes going to the dentist as easy as going to the doctor for over 9,000 families in the local area.
“This is just the latest in a series of unforgivable decisions when it comes to dental care in Australia. Dental waiting lists are getting longer and longer because they have cut $390 million from adult public dental services across the nation.
“On top of that they have axed $225 million from Labor’s program to build dental clinics in regional Australia and nursing homes. This is all in addition to the $125.6 million already cut from the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.”
Susan Templeman said that the cuts will have devastating impacts in the region.
“Families take their children to dentists like Dr Sandstrom because they know that getting on top of dental problems early on can make a massive difference to a person’s life.
“But there are families here in the Blue Mountains and across Australia doing it tough. Ripping away the Child Dental Benefits Schedule is a huge kick in the teeth to these families, they deserve better.
“Families in the bush just aren’t a high priority for the federal Government. It’s hard enough for people in regional areas to access health services and decisions like this just make it that much more difficult.”
This latest attack comes on top of Malcolm Turnbull’s $57 billion cut to our hospitals, the freeze on Medicare rebates for GPs and his $650 million in cuts to bulk billing incentives for x-rays and blood tests.
Now Malcolm Turnbull has the teeth of kids in his sights, confirming yet again that the Liberals only ever see health as a source for Budget cuts.