Friday, 19 January, 2018

More than 60,000 Victorian public dental patients stand to miss out on crucial dental services under funding cuts by the Turnbull Government.

Harriet Shing, Member for Eastern Victoria Region said that a cut to Victoria’s public dental services will hit some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in the Gippsland community.

The Turnbull Government has decided to roll out a National Partnership Agreement on Public Dental Services for adults with a 30 per cent cut to dental investment from previous funding levels.

This amounts to almost $30 million over the life of the agreement across Victoria, affecting patients and cutting jobs as providers have to scale back on services.

This funding cannot be taken out of the public dental system without many thousands of Victorians missing out on care. And with our public system treating over 330,000 people every year, it will mean 60,000 Victorians could go without crucial dental care.

These cuts are not just occurring in Victoria, it is a nationwide decrease that will disadvantage Australians everywhere. While we are committed to improving the oral health of Victorians, the Turnbull Government is slashing millions from dental services around the country.

In Gippsland these cuts will amount to $1,287,095 which could see nearly 3100 local people miss out on treatment.

In 2017/18 the Andrews Labor Government invested $226.1 million in public dental service delivery, an increase of $20.1 million from the previous year – but Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts will hurt Victorians who most need dental care.

People living in regional and rural communities will be hardest hit, with more than half of public dental agencies located in regional Victoria.

Time and time again, we are seeing the Prime Minister for Sydney – Malcolm Turnbull – dudding Victorians, and Australians who need it most.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:

“Malcolm Turnbull’s new dental program is cutting vital funding to our public dental services and will leave thousands of Victorians without the dental care they need and deserve.”

Almost 3,100 of dental patients in Gippsland will soon be unable to access dental care and treatment as a direct result of cuts by the Turnbull Government – that’s not good enough.” 

“Time and time again Victorians are missing out on health funding to prop up Malcolm Turnbull’s budget bottom line.”