Provide Dental Medicare for People with Chronic Disease
To: Federal Government Parliamentarians
Please protect the health of people who suffer chronic disease by providing a Medicare program that funds medically necessary dental service. We ask you to do this by reinstating the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme, which provided Medicare rebates for comprehensive dental care for 1.5 million people with chronic medical conditions between November 2007 and August 2012. We also ask that the restored scheme have improved administration and regulation, compared with that which ran from 2007 to 2012.
Why is this important?
Many people with chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer, mental health problems, immune compromise or bleeding disorders, cannot afford private dentistry, and between 2007 and 2012 relied on the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme to pay for dentistry to protect their health. Government has closed this scheme, and plans to send patients with chronic disease back to the public dental waiting list. Government intends only a 30% increased public dental spending starting in 2014, which is very much less than would be needed to satisfy even current demand, so people with chronic disease will not receive timely or comprehensive care needed. The Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme was very successful, with 1.5 million Australians treated. It had a low complaint rate of just one complaint per 1,500 patients. The Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme formed a sensible basis for expansion to eventually include the entire Australian population under dental Medicare.