The Australian Dental Association (ADA) today congratulated the Coalition Government on its re-election and looks forward to continuing working with Health Minister Greg Hunt in the delivery of publicly funded oral health care.
“During the election the ADA was overwhelmed by feedback from both ADA branches around Australia and the public about the desperate need to provide oral health care to disadvantaged groups,” said Dr Carmelo Bonanno, President of the ADA.
“This is a critical area for the Coalition government, to address the needs of the disadvantaged, for whom public waiting lists mean their oral health declines while they wait to be treated.
“Everyone in Australia regardless of their ability to pay, should be able to receive dental care. Our goal is a robust model of a mix of affordable public and private dentistry which accommodates the dental needs of the whole community,” he said.
The ADA has long lobbied successive Federal governments to address the urgent and growing need for additional, targeted and sustainable funding to meet the requirements of disadvantaged Australians.
During the election campaign Labor pledged $2.4 billion to a Pensioner Dental Plan to give up to three million older Australians improved dental care.
Under the Plan, every age pensioner and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holder would have been eligible for $1,000 of dental services every two years. Were it implemented, the ADA believes the Plan would have gone a significant way to achieving these objectives.
“We look forward to continue working with Minister Hunt to improve the dental health of the Australian public and will be lobbying for implementation of the ADA’s Australian Dental Health Plan,” said Dr Bonanno.
“As a non-partisan organisation the ADA has longstanding relationships with both sides of the political divide. We will work productively with both the Coalition government and the Labor Opposition to bring about good policy for dentists and the Australians they treat.”