19 March 2012 The Coalition today introduced a Bill into the House of Representatives to end the Gillard Government’s vindictive pursuit of dentists who have provided treatment to the most needy Australians under the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme.
Shadow Minister for Health Peter Dutton said the Health Insurance (Dental Services) Bill 2012 would seek to end the injustice Labor appeared determined to inflict upon the nation’s dental professionals.
The Bill will require the Minister for Health to halt “demands for repayment” Medicare is issuing to hundreds of dentists for a technical breach of the law.
Dentists are facing demands to repay all Medicare benefits they’ve received despite having provided full courses of treatment.
“The dentists are facing these demands simply because they have failed to provide all paperwork required under the chronic disease dental scheme, yet to the Gillard Government they are ‘rorting’ the scheme.”
Mr Dutton said the demands were threatening to bankrupt some dental practices and were having harmful effects on the health of others.
“Dentists are being attacked and the entire profession slandered by Labor which is involved in a very grubby political game – it wants to the close the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme because Tony Abbott was its architect.”
“No matter the good the scheme is doing, Julia Gillard and Tanya Plibersek are determined to undermine it and if that means vilifying the nation’s dental professionals too bad.
“Plain commonsense and decency says that the Government and Medicare Australia should show discretion in these matters,” Mr Dutton said.
“Given that they have been unable to show that commonsense or decency the Coalition will act to support honest, hard working health professionals who acted in good faith in providing services under the chronic disease dental scheme.”
Mr Dutton called on the Greens and the Independents to support the legislation.