We know that one in five of Australia’s lowest-income people haven’t been to a dentist in over five years, if ever.
And we know that low-income households have more than double the number of family members with untreated tooth decay compared with high-income households. It’s just not good enough.
That’s why I’m announcing a $4 billion dental package that will provide more than 3 million children and millions of adults on low incomes or in rural areas access to government subsidised dental care.
This is on top of the $515 million announced in the 2012-13 Budget, which included a blitz on public dental waiting lists, additional dental training and support for people in rural and remote areas.
Labor believes we have a responsibility to ensure Australians who are least able to afford to go the dentist, and particularly children, should be given access to government-subsidised oral health care.
I’m proud that this package will allow millions of Australians to see a dentist: people who otherwise might not have received the dental care they need.