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Coalition ensures local access to dentists.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

Federal Member for Wannon

7 July 2008


The Labor Government’s attempt to scrap the Medicare Dental Scheme has been thwarted.

Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, said today that the Coalition has successfully moved a motion of disallowance to block the axing of the programme, meaning people in Western Victoria can continue to access urgent dental care.

“This is a huge win for the people of Western Victoria. People with chronic and complex dental issues can continue to receive treatment and receive a rebate from Medicare,” Mr Hawker said.

“The Coalition’s Medicare Dental Scheme has benefited a huge number of people in the 6 months it has been operating. The continuation of the scheme means even more Australians can receive dental treatment.”

Mr Hawker said the Coalition programme allows patients with chronic and complex dental health conditions to see the dentist of their choice following a GP referral and provided up to $4250 for treatment over 2 years.

On 2 March, the Minister for Health and Aging confirmed the Labor Government’s plan to cancel the programme.

“Labor has no plans to replace the scheme. Their solution is to simply throw money at the states, asking them to fix the problems. This would force patients in need to join public waiting lists where they may wait for months for treatment in the already-overcrowded state-run Public Dental schemes,” Mr Hawker said.

“With around 30% of Australians currently unable to see dentists due to cost, the Labor Government is failing those who need help the most.

“The Coalition remains committed to providing access to Dental services through Medicare for those most in need and I will fight to ensure the people of Western Victoria are taken care of.

“I encourage those with chronic and complex dental health issues to visit their GP to discuss a treatment plan,” he said.

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100