Greens announce $5.8b dental policy

The Australian Greens

$5.8 billion would be invested in providing Medicare-funded dental care in a policy announced today by Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale and Greens candidate for Macnamara Steph Hodgins-May.

“Your health shouldn’t be determined by your postcode or bank balance,” said Dr Di Natale, a former GP and public health specialist.

“Untreated dental disease can dramatically impact on a person’s health and quality of life, and it is the most vulnerable people in our community who are impacted the most. The Greens will invest $5.8 billion to provide Medicare-funded dental care to all young people, aged pensioners, full benefit recipients and concession card holders.

“Millions of Australians have delayed visiting the dentist because of high out of pocket costs, which is why the Greens have long been champions of Medicare-funded dental care. In 2012 the Greens secured Medicare-funded dental care for 3.4 million children and now we commit to build on that foundation.

“The Coalition has never supported Medicare but if the Labor party really support affordable universal healthcare Bill Shorten should commit to working with the Greens to bring dental into Medicare,” Di Natale said.

Hodgins-May said the out of pocket costs of dental treatment undermined Australia’s health system.

“I’m proud to live in a country with universal healthcare but the cost of seeing a dentist is a huge gap,” said Hodgins-May.

“There is no reason why your mouth should be treated differently to the rest of your body. Going to the dentist should be just like going to the GP and that’s exactly what the Greens will deliver.”

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