Those with young children have four more months to make use of Australia’s free dental care programme. The dental care programme has been operating for over a year despite parliament’s recent calls to abolish it.
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (SDBS) granted $1000.oo of free dental treatment every two years to eligible children aged 2 – 17. The programme was introduced in January 2014, but went largely unused; few people seemed to know about the scheme. Over three million families had children eligible for the free dental work, but only a small number took advantage of it. Eligible families were those receiving Family Tax Benefit A.
Though the CDBA scheme is due to be axed on the 1st of July it requires a parliament vote before the cancellation can be approved. This parliamentary vote cannot occur before the 2nd of July election, so the fate of the scheme is still officially up in the air. However, most politicians seem to favour the schemes’ discontinuation.
Axing the scheme promises to save 1 billion dollars over the next four years. The replacement system, the Child and Adult Public dental scheme, looks to spend less than $50.oo per person per year; this is far less than $1000.oo per two years. Some people believe the new scheme involves more money than the old one, not realizing that the total amount covers both the children and adult population. It works out as less per person.
There is an unspoken oddity in the discontinuation of this CDBS. It is supposedly being discontinued due to lack of use. It is also supposedly being discontinued to save money. How it costs money to keep a rebate scheme that was never being used seems a mystery. The government might have done better by keeping the system and not letting people know about it.
A petition to save the CDBA at:
For eligible children at Carlingford dental treatment is still available under the CDBS till at least the 1st of July. Talk to you dentist if you have any queries.