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TURNBULL’S DENTAL CUTS ARE HAVING AN UNACCEPTABLE IMPACT ON TASMANIAN TEETH - Media Release

TURNBULL’S DENTAL CUTS ARE HAVING AN UNACCEPTABLE IMPACT ON TASMANIAN TEETH

Evidence given at Senate Estimates last night has laid bare the unacceptable impact on Tasmanians of the Turnbull Government’s $300 million a year cut to adult public dental services.

Analysis of the Budget Papers confirmed that the Turnbull Government has allocated just $321 million over three years to adult public dental services.

In comparison, Labor’s 2012 MYEFO budgeted $391 million a year in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

The Government has confirmed this cut even though – according to the Productivity Commission’s most recent data – disadvantaged and vulnerable Tasmanians are already waiting an average of 2.5 years for potentially life-changing dental services, and some people wait up to 8 years!

In government, Labor established the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Adult Public Dental Services with funding of $391 million dollars a year 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.

Unfortunately, the Turnbull Government has once again shown its complete disregard for the health of Tasmanians, delivering nothing but further uncertainty and longer waits.

$300 million every year is a massive cut.

It means that every year around 337,000 Australians will miss out on critical public dental services and be forced on to rapidly inflating waiting lists.

But for Labor’s efforts, the Turnbull Government would also have abolished a separate scheme that protects children’s teeth.

We also found out in Estimates yesterday that the Government’s most senior health bureaucrats have for years been actively involved in working up options to attack the fabric of our universal health care system.

Malcolm Turnbull can’t be trusted with a word he says on health – and vulnerable Tasmanians are suffering the consequences.

TUESDAY, 30 MAY 2017

MEDIA CONTACT: TAIMUS WERNER-GIBBINGS    0429 820 344