Australian Patients Facing A Lengthy Wait For Dental Treatment After Closure Of CDDS Scheme

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Patients in Australia are facing lengthy waiting times for dental treatment following the closure of the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme.

According to a parliamentary inquiry, some patients are facing waits of up to five years for treatment after the CDDS was shut down. The inquiry also revealed that a young disabled patient who was previously receiving dental care every four months now has to wait for two years to see a public dentist. Another patient was found to be in “constant agony” because they cannot access public dental care.

The Chronic Disease Dental Scheme provided $4250 worth of dental care over a two-year period for patients who had long-term health conditions, but the government scrapped the scheme in favour of a more universal system, which is set to benefit children. The new scheme will come into play in 2014 but experts are worried that adults previously covered by the CDDS have been abandoned and are therefore at risk of developing dental health and general health problems.

The report also revealed that there is a severe shortage of dentists in New South Wales. Predictions also suggest that by 2020 there will be a shortfall of between 800 and 900 dentists in Australia, which will contribute to 2 million Australians missing out on dental care.

According to the report there are already serious issues with access to dental care in rural areas of the country, with a ratio of 17.9:100,000 people in remote areas.

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