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Coalition fights to keep Medicare Dental Scheme.

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The Hon Bob Baldwin MP Federal Member for Paterson

23 June 2008


Paterson MP Bob Baldwin has welcomed the Senate’s decision to overturn a plan by the Rudd Labor Government to scrap the Medicare Dental Scheme.

Labor’s plan was thwarted in the Senate last Thursday after Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Senator Richard Colbeck successfully moved a motion of disallowance to block the program's axing.

“The Rudd Labor Government planned to axe the scheme which allowed people with complex health problems to access private dental procedures to a value of up to $4250 over two years,” said Mr Baldwin.

“Those with chronic and complex dental health issues only had access to this programme for a few months and yet over 300,000 services were provided. How could the Government possibly claim the programme was failing?

“Following the Senate’s decision I encourage those in need to visit their GP to discuss a dental health plan.”

Mr Baldwin said dentistry remains out of reach to those on low incomes with around 30 percent of Australians unable to see a dentist because of cost.

“Dental problems cause pain and suffering and constant pain can really take its toll on your day to day life,” he said.

“Not only that but dental disease can contribute to the burden from diabetes, heart disease and stroke.”

Media enquiries: Shelley Mexon - 0421 443 401

Bob Baldwin - 0419 694 620

Electorate: PO Box 156 Raymond Terrace NSW 2324, 35 Sturgeon Street Raymond Terrace. Phone (02) 4983 1330 Canberra: Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Phone (02) 6277 4200