Can the govt afford $5 billion for teeth?
Under the plan the Greens said they would overhaul the existing Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (CDDS) to better target lower income earners, then expand the scheme over five years to become universal.
Dr Brian Morton, chair of the AMA Council of General Practice, agreed dental care was a “neglected area” and hoped a universal scheme would reduce “inappropriate pressure placed on us… to give a free go for some people who really should be affording [dental care]”.
But he warned that dentists were less likely than GPs to accept un-indexed rebates.
“The dental profession is much wiser than GPs in terms of who they... bulk-bill,” Dr Morton said.
Greens health spokesman Senator Richard Di Natale said while he had wanted the scheme funded with the failed Rudd mining tax, a 0.75% Medicare Levy increase could still pay for it.
“It’s a just a question of priorities,” Senator Di