Plibersek says ‘poorly targeted’ dental scheme to be overhauled

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek.

Following the release last week of the National Dental Advisory Board’s report, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has hinted that the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme will be overhauled in the Government’s attempts to revamp the current dental system. The Government has been trying to close the Medicare Scheme since 2007, but has been repeatedly blocked in the Senate from doing so.

In a weekend newspaper report, the Minister said, “A general principle when it comes to dental, I would like to see any improvements in our dental scheme targeted at the people who need it most, first.”

“We have a chronic disease dental scheme at the moment, that throws money around with no real thought or process,” she said.

Ms Plibersek said the health dollar was scarce and she would be looking to implement “sensible, modest” improvements in dental care. Ahead of the May budget, Ms Plibersek said the government was committed to securing a surplus and any ministers who came forward with new ideas, “needs to work out how these new ideas might be paid for”.

“I do have some new ideas,” she said.

Meanwhile, The Greens health spokesperson Senator Richard Di Natale said that the $165 million secured yesterday by the Greens was a great first step but that he will be looking for a much more significant total investment in dental health in the May budget.

“The $165 million investment in dental health secured by the Greens has produced a double dividend for the health system. We’ve made a start toward Denticare and we’ve made the health system a little fairer,” said Senator Di Natale.

“But much more needs to be done.

“This is a solid downpayment in dental health and a great outcome but this is only the start of negotiations with the Government to improve dental health.



Bite Magazine and website is published by Engage Media. All material is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission.


Previous articleTools of the trade: VistaScan
Next articleKeep smiling


  1. The “great outcome” “to improve dental health” may simply be an impossible dream until education is allowed to empower our patients to make informed decisions on effective personal care. The fantasy of ridiculous instruction creating compliant patients must be debunked.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here