Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, April 19, 2016.
Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. AAP Image - Mick Tsikas

Medical groups attack Turnbull's new dental health scheme

TWO medical groups have criticised the Federal Government's new public dental scheme, saying it is a budget-saving measure and an "outrageous attack" on the dental health of millions of Australians.

Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley announced the new Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme on the weekend, saying it would provide more than 10 million Australians with access to public dental through a single national agreement.

But the Australian Dental Association has labelled the new scheme as a budget-saving measure.

"Let's see this for what it is," association president Dr Rick Olive said. "This is a 'budget saving' resulting in a reduction of about $200 million per annum for dental care."

The Doctors Reform Society said it was an "outrageous attack" on Australians' dental health.

"The claim that (the new scheme) increases the number of those eligible hides the fact that the increased number of eligible children will now have to wait years on public waiting lists because the public system simply doesn't have enough dentists or other resources to service the extra millions of patients," a statement from the Doctors Reform Society said.

Ms Ley said the new Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme was the largest-ever Commonwealth-investment in frontline public dental services and would ensure all children and adults with concession cards did not fall through the cracks.

She also said the Turnbull Government would invest a total of about $5 billion over the next four years improving dental outcomes.



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