Malcolm Turnbull is set to cut dental care for vulnerable and disadvantaged Australians by failing to allocate a single dollar towards ensuring low-income Australians have access to basic dental care beyond 2016.
Today’s COAG meeting was a clear opportunity for Malcolm Turnbull to give states and territories certainty about the future of public dental funding. After ripping out the $391 million a year that Labor had budgeted for public dental, the Turnbull Government has not funded the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Adult Public Dental Services beyond this year.
Unfortunately, the Turnbull Government has once again shown its complete disregard for health, delivering nothing but further uncertainty and no extra funding.
States and territories have warned that without a commitment from the Turnbull Government, public dental waiting lists will blow out and vulnerable Australians will miss out on essential dental care.
Labor established the NPA on Adult Public Dental Services to make sure as many Australians as possible could access the benefits of improved oral health, and weren’t left languishing on long waiting lists.
In contrast, the Abbott-Turnbull Government has treated Australia’s dental schemes as a complete joke – ripping out vital funding for public dental and trying to abolish a scheme that protects children’s teeth.
Three weeks out from the end of the year, the states and territories are now facing the very real prospect that their public dental waiting lists will blow out at the hands of Malcolm Turnbull.
A Government who cared about the health of Australians wouldn’t approach such a critical program with such disdain. This behaviour is just more proof that Malcolm Turnbull can’t be trusted when it comes to health.
FRIDAY, 9 DECEMBER 2016