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Liberals' dental shocker undermines universal care

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 23 Apr 2016

The Greens have rejected the Liberals' pre-election promise to change Australia's publicly funded dental care program, warning it will limit patient access.

"This plan is a shocker. If it's allowed to go ahead it will totally undermine the push for universal Medicare funded access to dental care," said Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale.

"80 per cent of dental clinics will be off-limits to patients using this program, which relies only on dental systems run by the states.

"The original program that the Greens implemented in 2012 is accessible via all dental clinics. The change proposed by Minister Ley today is yet another instance of this government outsourcing its responsibility.

"The mouth shouldn't be treated any different to the rest of the body. Dental care should be brought into the Medicare system, not split off and handed over to state and territory governments that don't have the capacity to deliver it to all those who need it.

"The Greens remain committed to a dental health scheme that is universal, so that every Australian can receive dental health care no matter their financial circumstances."

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