How you’ll be affected by the new dental cuts coming on January 1

You have two weeks to familiarise yourself with the changes to dental care announced by the Federal Government on December

You have two weeks to familiarise yourself with the changes to dental care announced by the Federal Government on December 15.

In case you missed it, health minister Susan Ley announced the Federal funding arrangements for dental services across the country to come into effect from January 1, 2017.

In a statement released by the minister, the new funding arrangements for adults accessing public dental services are said to allow for the states and territories to treat up to 370,000 additional patients.

However, according to the experts, thousands are set to lose access to free dental services under the cuts and that the “most vulnerable” will be hurt.

While the 2013-14 budget committed $391 million for public dental services in 2016-17, it has been whittled away over time and CEO of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, Alison Verhoeven now says “less than $107 million per year” is allocated.

“This will result in as many as 338,000 people losing access to public dental services from next year,” she told the ABC.

The Federal Government has also scrapped plans to go ahead with the proposed $2.1 billion Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme, though there are still benefits available to eligible children after modifications to the existing Child Dental Benefits Scheme.

With changes to the Age Pension also coming into force from January 1, many of you are already struggling to make ends meet. In fact, a study carried out earlier this year found that almost one third of Australians on the Age Pension are living in poverty.

It revealed many older Australians are going to great lengths to save money, including mashing food to eat so that they don’t have to pay for dental work.

Have you found going to the dentist to be increasingly expensive? Have you pulled back on visiting your dentist because of your finances? Share your thoughts on this issue with us.

  1. Margaret Tudball  

    Have certainly stopped going to Dentist because of cost

    • Sheila McNeill  

      I’ve stopped going for checkups because of the cost. Will now only go if I ever have a problem.

  2. Kenneth W. Hopgood  

    I too Margaret am suffering due cost.
    2 weeks ago I bit into a Ryvita Crispbread and I dont know wether it was a cap or one of my front teeth broke off.
    and even now am too scared to go cant afford extras on my Pension.
    So will have to put up with the gap for the rest of my life.
    I am 70 so not long.

  3. [email protected]  

    Haven’t been to dentist for years already due to costs, but do practice prevention over cure. Have implemented daily oral hygiene system that so far seems to work well.
    1st tip… avoid sugar!

  4. Jennifer  

    I think this is just bloody terrible, other countries have great dental for their ppl, and i am not talking about the USA, they suck at looking after their older ppl and the ppl with disablies worse than what we do here, but we are heading in that direction…The system here is not fair, its about the money, the money you have to spend on health insurance , its the haves having way to much and the nots, not having much of anything… and the middle well i feel as tho they are just left out to dry…This gov is rather sad, for them its all about hurting the ones who need the looking after, ” lets hurt them alittle more” knock them while they are already down. that is what i am getting from this Gov, And for all fo you who love this Gov or back this Gov, you have shame at all, where is your compassion towards the ones who need help, the ppl with mental illness, the old, the ppl who cant find jobs, The ones who are working 2 or even 3 part time jobs to make ends meet, so the power stays on, what is wrong with these ppl that they think that this is ok in this country, i am shocked at what i have been reading, IF you want to go down the USA way of doing things, heaven help us all….. There will be a upraising of pitch forks and fire, because you keep the weak ppl down long enough, they will revolt……

  5. Gilbert  

    I just had most of my teeth out in readyness for dentures in the new year. If this is the case then I will be toothless for the rest of my life. Thanks to the Government I loose part of my pension and dental benefits. What do we lose next?

  6. brenda  

    I really think it is time that Australian politicians pull their belts in. Stop giving themselves pay rises and perks for the rest of their lives and actually go out into the public and speak to pensioners. Enough is enough of them lining their pockets and leaving most pensioners to suffer in poverty. They have worked hard all their lives, payed taxes and this is the way the government rewards them.

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