In December last year, in the wake of a concerted campaign by the ADA and the invaluable ongoing support of Labor and the Greens, in particular Catherine King and Richard Di Natale respectively, the Government announced that the Child Dental Benefit Schedule would be retained.
It was a significant victory, tarnished only by the Government’s decision to reduce the cap to $700.
Today, however, following an urgent discussion yesterday between ADA President Hugo Sachs and the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, which was precipitated by the decision of a cross section of Senators to oppose cuts made by the Australian Government to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) cap, the Government has advised that it will be restoring the cap back to its original figure of $1000.
The reduction to $700 would have led to more than 1 in 4 children who use the Scheme – around 250,000 children – facing the very real possibility of not having all their treatment needs met. With dental disease in children on the rise – figures show that 4 out of 10 children aged 5 -10 and 3 out of 10 children aged 9 -14 having decay in their baby and permanent teeth respectively – any kind of reduction is bad news for the oral health of these children.
However today’s decision by the Health Minister means that the CDBS, which has proven itself time and again as a critically-important investment in the dental health of disadvantaged Australian children and a key template for the ADA’s Australian Dental Health Plan, will be able to continue to provide the high level of care needed.
The decision to retain the original cap amount has been warmly welcomed by ADA President Dr Hugo Sachs.
“The Minister has acted decisively. He is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to supporting the CDBS which is a strong investment in early intervention for children’s dental health. Today’s announcement is an example of how the Senate, and the Australian Government have combined to support policy that has been proven to help these children access the care they need.”
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To find out if your children are eligible you can ring our friendly reception on 02 9622 3333. www.winningsmilesdentists.com.au