The Coalition is fighting against the abrupt closure of the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (CDDS) on November 30 which abandons chronic disease sufferers.
Labor is closing the scheme because it was implemented by Tony Abbott when he was health minister. Labor’s planned replacement is an unfunded $4.1b re-election promise.
The Coalition is standing up for chronic disease sufferers. Labor is standing only for re-election. The long gap until July, 2014, reveals Labor’s shallow political motive.
Under Labor’s scheme, if it is ever delivered, children will wait 13 months with no care and then only be eligible for $1000 over two years, instead of $4250 under the current scheme. Adults will wait at least 19 months, and even then they will be dumped onto public dental waiting lists. The lists will balloon because of Labor ramping up treatment expectations and poor policy design.
New England doesn’t need another Labor policy disaster. Patients can’t wait 19 months or more for dental treatment.
Labor spin makes references to “millionaires” to attack this scheme and disguise their Medicare cuts. According to the National Advisory Council on Dental Health, 80 per cent of CDDS patients are concession card holders.
Labor should drop the class war spin. Chronic disease sufferers waiting months for dental care will result in poorer dental health, jeopardise heart surgery, demoralise cancer patients and lead to other complications.
SENATOR BILL HEFFERNAN
LIBERAL SENATOR FOR NSW