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Dental lifeline in Senate is strong message to Rudd.

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Margaret May MP

Federal Member for McPherson Shadow Minister for Ageing


17 September 2008


“Coalition Senators have defeated another attempt by the Rudd Government to scrap the Medicare Dental Scheme proving the benefits of this scheme are obvious and overwhelming, Federal Member for McPherson, Margaret May MP said.

“This was the Rudd Government’s second attempt to end this program, following on from success of Senator Colbeck’s motion of Disallowance on 19 June 2008, when the government tried to repeal the scheme’s Medicare item numbers.

“The Government moved a motion to rescind the June 19 disallowance decision on the weak argument that they need to close the Medicare Dental Scheme in order to fund the Commonwealth Dental Health Program.

“The truth is that during the election campaign Labor promised to spend $800 million on dental this term but the Commonwealth Dental and Teen Dental programs are costed at $290 million and $360 million respectively over the three year period.

“Once again the Rudd Government is claiming they are looking after Australians’ health but really they are cutting $150 million in funding that could be used to improve dental services.

“These two new programs proposed by the Rudd Government simply do not support the chronically ill who develop acute and costly dental problems.

“The Medicare Dental Scheme works. It provides eligible patients with up to $4250 of rebates over two years for dental treatment and targets those who need treatment most urgently.

“I urge the Rudd Government to rethink their dental strategy. There is no logic in abolishing a public health initiative for which there is a demonstrated and growing need, Margaret said.

“Locals suffering chronic dental health problems should call my office on 5525 0688 for a fact sheet on the ins and outs of the Medicare Dental Scheme.”


Media Contact: Amelia Walsh - (07) 5525 0688 or 0415 660 251