HSU Welcomes ALP Announcement on Dental Care20 September 2007
The Health Services Union has welcomed a commitment from the ALP to invest $290 million, as a first instalment, to a Commonwealth Dental Health Program.
The funding should alleviate some of the stress on the public dental system, and the announcement is a good first instalment.
With an estimated 650,000 people on waiting lists for public dental care around the country, the failure of the Howard Government to take any responsibility has been incredible.
The ALP, alternatively, has put forward a plan with much better targeted funding to start to address the real problems in the system.
The crisis in dental care is not limited to the public dental care system. The cost of private dental care has been continually increasing making it more and more difficult for many to afford treatment. Even those with private health insurance can end up significantly out of pocket.
This is an issue that urgently needs addressing. The increasing cost of dental care is a significant burden for families and older Australians and many are putting off dental care because of the cost.
Dental health is an essential part of general health and a health system that recognises that is needed.
The Health Services Union is calling for Medicare to be expanded to dental care for those under 18 and over 65 years of aged and people of any age on a pension or with a health care card.
Health Services Union