The Australian Government announced its federal budget for 2019 on Tuesday, 2 April. Under this budget, the Government plans to improve access to dental services across Australia which will benefit the dental industry and dentistry in general.
The Government has proposed to improve access to adult public dental services through a National Partnership Agreement with state and territory governments and support eligible children to access essential dental health services through the Child dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS).
“The Australian Dental Industry Association’s (ADIA) vision is an industry that empowers oral health professionals to advance the health and well-being of all Australians. Though there is always room for more improvement, ADIA sees the Government’s plan for dental services as a strong step in the direction of securing this vision,” said Mr Kym De Britt, ADIA Chief Executive Officer.
To further improve access to dental services, the Government plans to work with the Department of Human Services to support eligible children to access dental health services through the CDBS. It also plans to undertake a statutory review of the Dental Health Benefits Act 2008.
The Government also announced that in 2019-20, it will provide $107.8 million to extend the existing National Partnership Agreement on Public Dental Services for Adults to 30 June 2020. The extension ensures that additional public dental services are supported, while the Government and the States and Territories discuss future funding arrangements.
“Ensuring that more adults and children have access to dental services is a benefit for the entire dental industry and will assist our members in growing sustainable businesses,” said Mr De Britt.
The Government proposes to have a percentage of 42.1% of eligible children accessing essential dental health services through the CDBS by 2023. The 2019 target is set at 37.8%.