Australian Dentist Warns Against Axing of Medicare Scheme

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A dentist from Hastings has warned that axing the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (CDDS) could increase waiting times for treatment, with some patients expected to wait around 19 months.

The government has recently announced that the CDDS will cease on the 30th November and a replacement dental scheme will not be introduced until July 2014, leaving thousands without much needed dental care. The new dental scheme will cost around 4.1 billion dollars and is designed to improve access to dental care for millions of people.

The federal government decided to cease the CDDS because it was costing too much money and there were too many dental care access problems across Australia. This meant that a more universal service would be of greater benefit.

From January 1st, allocated funding of around $2.7 billion will be used to subsidise treatment for more than 3 million children, while an additional cash injection worth $1.4 billion will be used to subsidise adult treatment.

Dr Jeremy Rourke, from Star Dental in Hastings, said that he has already had one patient refuse treatment because they are waiting for the new scheme to come into play so that fees will cost less. However, it is likely that the dental condition will have further developed by 2014 and the patient will therefore be required to pay more for treatment anyway.

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