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Why not cover teeth?

By johnboy 2 May 2012 65

The Greens are asking some sensible questions as to why teeth are excluded from publicly funded healthcare, and trying to get support for a fix up here in Canberra.

“It doesn’t make much sense that teeth should be excluded from the rest of the human body when it comes to healthcare,” Greens Health spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA, said.

“Low income earners are the hardest hit by the high cost of dental care, and this leads to major health problems.

“44% of respondents to the last ACT General Health Survey reported to have delayed using a dentist because they couldn’t afford it. This results in an unnecessary burden on the health system. 7-10% of GP visits are due untreated dental problems.

“If we do not start improving our preventative health measures, like regular dental check-ups, the cost of our health system will continue to skyrocket.

“Today the ACT is being presented with an opportunity to be the first jurisdiction to vote in favour of the Commonwealth Government funding Denticare.

“I’m calling on the other parties to listen to the community and support Denticare. The Assembly should make it clear to the Federal Government that this is a health priority for the people of Canberra,” Ms Bresnan said.

(Cue a bunch of vindictive arseholes huffing and puffing that they worked hard for their dental care and anyone who didn’t work as hard, or get as lucky, should live in pain and die young. Oh and let’s not forget the moral pygmies shouting “I’m allright jack, screw the rest of you”.)

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Why not cover teeth?
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Gungahlin Al 10:30 pm 06 May 12

A breakthrough today in the Greens’ campaign to get dental care properly funded and included in Medicare. Greens Senator Dr Richard di Natale announced successful negotiations with the Government to get half a billion dollars worth of dental care improvements included in Tuesday’s Budget:

* $345.9 million for a public dental waiting list blitz, to help the 400,000 Australians on public waiting lists get treatment faster;
the Chronic Dental Disease Scheme will be saved from Budget cuts, until we can develop a comprehensive national scheme with the Government to replace it;
* $158.6 million to train more dentists and oral health therapists, and help dental professionals set up practices in rural areas; and,
* $10.5 million to promote good oral health.

But di Natale has said this is just the start:

“We’re going to take the next steps on that road straightaway. Starting this week, and continuing in coming months, we will negotiate with the Government to design a scheme to help Australians access the dental care they need. We’re all going to need to keep the campaign going to get the best outcome from those negotiations: bringing dental care into Medicare at last. Later this year, we will bring the results of our negotiations to the Parliament and establish a national dental scheme. I look forward to voting for that reform, which will be a direct result of your passionate support.”

And to everyone who put their names to the Greens petition – thank you – you helped bring this outcome to fruition.

So why is this important for the ACT? Because this investment in preventative medicine will – in time – reduce the kinds of downstream health problems that result from poor dental health. And that will in turn reduce demand on our ACT health care system and tax base.

HenryBG 12:42 am 04 May 12

Darkfalz said :

Everyone with a job should have private health care.

Oh, look who hasn’t been paying attention.

One more time: The american system of private healthcare costs twice as much and has worse outcomes. In other words it’s a big, horrendous scam. And you’ve fallen for it – you, Gary Humphries, Tony Abbot, and the rest of that shower of idiots pleased to call themselves a “Liberal” Party who are absolutely clueless when it comes to analysing real-world facts before developing policy.

Darkfalz 11:24 pm 03 May 12

2604 said :

An annual checkup and clean costs about $200 at my local (rip-off) dentist. It beggars belief that 44% of Canberrans can’t set aside less than four bucks a week to look after their own teeth.

Also, the government socialising or subsidising anything is a sure-fire way to increase how much it costs. Anyone for a $700 set-top box?

I hadn’t been to the dentist in 10 years, went and got a clean and two small fillings (took two sessions). It cost me about $600 from memory. I got private health insurance shortly after and haven’t been since… I should probably use it. But I have very good teeth.

Darkfalz 11:18 pm 03 May 12

Everyone with a job should have private health care.

I remember getting free dental checks when I was a kid, at a clinic at primary school. I’m not sure who paid for it but it certainly wasn’t my mum (who was on child support payments).

Tetranitrate 10:31 pm 03 May 12

2604 said :

HenryBG said :

The scary thing is that misinformed idiots like 2604 actually have the vote, and they use it to keep the Liberal Party in the running.

“Misinformed idiots” think that the overall cost of a health care system viewed in isolation of health outcomes and patient demographics is a reliable indicator of that health care system’s quality.

They also think that something which works in the UK will work everywhere, and that somehow socialised medicine can magically avoid all of the waste and unnecessary endemic in other government-provided services.

Except the USA has more favorable demographics and has worse outcomes.
ie: median age in the US is about 37.5, UK is 40.5
eg: Infant mortality of 5.98/1000 for the USA versus 4.56/1000 for the UK. (most recent CIA world factbook)
Yet the NHS costs less.

Reality contradicts your ideology.

The reason the UK in particular is being bought up is because the NHS is basically the gold standard of single payer healthcare – you can’t get much more ‘statist’ than the system in the UK.
(as compared to say, the Netherlands)

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