A leading advocacy organisation National Seniors Australia has welcomed Labor’s election announcement giving free essential dental care to Age Pensioners and holders of the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
National Seniors Australia along with the Benevolent Society have been calling for this initiative as part of their joint campaign to Fix Pension Poverty.
It’s pleasing one of the major parties has taken it up to the benefit of millions of older Australians.
National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said it was about time politicians began listening to the concerns of older people in this election.
He said the announcement was a just recognition of seniors’ health issues in a campaign that so far seemed to have ignored the needs of older people.
“Now it’s up to the Coalition to at least match Labor’s commitment. It is abhorrent that a country with a first-rate public health system like Australia has neglected this vital issue,” Mr Henschke said.
“Dentistry is an essential part of health care, yet it’s not treated that way. While dental care is essential to health and wellbeing, the cost of basic care has been largely privatised. Those able to afford private health insurance receive rebates when accessing private dental services; those without either foot the bill themselves or rely on overstretched and underfunded public dental services. Those in aged care have almost no access to dental care,” he said.