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Dental health package will help country people



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FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT TONY WINDSOR MP 0427 668868

TAMWORTH OFFICE SHOP 5, 259 PEEL STREET, TAMWORTH 2340 PH: 02 6761 3080 OR TOLL FREE 1300 301 839 FAX: 02 6761 3380 INVERELL OFFICE 88 OTHO STREET, INVERELL 2360 PH: 02 6721 0144 FAX: 02 6721 0288 ALL MAIL PO BOX 963, TAMWORTH NSW 2340 EMAIL: Tony.Windsor.MP@aph.gov.au WEB: www.tonywindsor.com.au

TONY WINDSOR B.Ec MP INDEPENDENT FEDERAL MEMBER FOR NEW ENGLAND

PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Media Release 29th August 2012 Dental health package will help country people The Federal government’s new $4 billion dental health package will result in improved health for many country people, according to the Independent Member for New England, Tony Windsor. Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced the new scheme that will subsidise dental care for 3.4 million children, expand public dental services for pensioners and lower-income earners, and improve access to dental services in country areas. Mr Windsor has long been concerned about poor dental health in country areas, and has welcomed this new funding package. “The cost of seeing a dentist has forced many families to neglect dental health, which can lead to the development of other health problems. “It has long been my position that oral health should not be separated from the rest of the body from a health funding point of view. “This new scheme will allow families eligible for Family Tax Benefit A to claim their children’s dental appointments through Medicare which means 23,500 children will benefit in the New England. “Subsidising dental services for children should help reverse the recent decline in child oral health and with such early intervention should see less problems in later life. “This funding package also includes $1.3 billion to help the states expand public dental health services for society’s most vulnerable, including pensioners and low-income earners. “This $1.3 billion comes on top of the $345.9 million over three years already announced in the Budget to reduce public dental waiting lists.” Mr Windsor believes these measures will make a substantial difference to the health of local people. He is pleased the Commonwealth is also specifically addressing the needs of country people. “The issue of affordability is compounded in many country areas, where it’s often harder to access dental services in the first place. “This new scheme includes a $225 million grants program to encourage more dentists to work in country areas - that’s on top of the $77.7 million over four years already committed in this year’s Budget for the same purpose. “After many years of lobbying on this issue, I’m glad to see the government responding to the specific challenges faced by country people,” Mr Windsor concluded.