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Gillard Government welcomes options on dental care

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27 February 2012

Gillard Government welcomes options on dental care

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek today welcomed the final report of the National Advisory Council on Dental Health.

The council was established last year to examine dental health issues, including the current mix and coverage of Australia’s dental services, in order to provide expert advice on needs and priorities for reform.

“I greatly appreciate the hard work the council has put into preparing this comprehensive and considered report,” said Ms Plibersek.

Ms Plibersek said the report raised questions and pointed to challenges which would need to be resolved in order to deliver a publicly funded dental scheme.

She said any scheme would need to be managed in a fiscally responsible way and be phased in over a period of time. It would also need to:

• Be targeted at Australians who can least afford to pay for oral health care themselves.

• Account for gaps in existing private and public dental services, including workforce and infrastructure constraints.

• Ensure funding by the Commonwealth did not duplicate, or lead to a reduction, in existing state and territory dental care services.

• Account for existing Commonwealth funding of dental care and be established after the closure of the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme.

The Government will be considering the content of the report as it continues to examine options for public dental care in Australia.

For more information contact the minister’s office on 02 6277 7220