75,000 local kids to benefit from new dental package

People in Watson, Blaxland and Banks are smiling after the announcement of the Gillard Labor Government’s new dental package.

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Member for Watson, Tony Burke said: “Over 75,000 kids in our local area and 39,637 families will now be eligible for government-subsidised dental care, just like they’re eligible for Medicare funded visits to their GP.

For decades, Australians have used Medicare to visit the doctor when they’re sick; unfortunately, millions of people don’t visit the dentist because they just can’t afford it.”

Member for Blaxland, Jason Clare said that “Local school principals have told me about their five year olds students have needed to go under general anaesthetic to fix their teeth. If kids are in this much pain in the classroom, they can’t concentrate on learning.

This new Dental Package will help fix this. It is another example of the difference that a Labor Government makes in our local community,” Mr Clare said.

Member for Banks, Daryl Melham said that “In our community, the problem starts young. Dental health is one of the first things to go if people are struggling and it has a big impact on their lives.”

“That’s why the Federal Labor Government believes we have a responsibility to ensure people who are the least able to afford to go to the dentist, particularly children, have access to government-subsidised dental care.”

Under the package, the Gillard Labor Government will also provide extra funding for additional services for adults on low incomes, including pensioners and concession card holders, and those with special needs, to have better access to dental health care in the public system

Children from the age of 2 to 18 in Family Tax Benefit Part A-eligible families will be entitled to subsidised basic dental treatment, capped at $1,000 per child over a two-year period. This initiative aims to address dental decay in children, which has been increasing since the 1990s.

From 1 January 2013 Family Tax Benefit Part A will be payable for:

  • Children aged up to 16 years, and
  • Young people aged 16 to 19 who are in full-time secondary study (payable until the end of the calendar year they turn 19).

Further details are available at www.humanservices.gov.au