11 May 2012 Labor’s dental health promises again reveal the ‘cook the books’ approach of Treasurer Wayne Swan. Despite promising $515 million, Labor is really delivering about $60 million of new money to dental programs.
Not content with dodgy accounting, Labor also wants to play politics with the dental health of the 400,000 Australians on public dental waiting lists. Labor is scrapping the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (CDDS) despite promising to reduce waiting lists. Labor’s own promises to reduce dental waiting lists have never been delivered.
The Government is attacking the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (CDDS) for the political motive of destroying an important reform implemented by Tony Abbott when he was Health Minister. This important scheme allows eligible patients with a chronic illness to receive dental treatment vital to their health. The Scheme has since been a dramatic success with over 700,000 people treated with over eleven million dental services.
The Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, highlighted that rhetoric about ‘Labor values’ is no substitute for actual services.
“Minister Plibersek should forget about the rhetoric and focus on outcomes. Don’t abandon patients currently benefiting from the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme just for a vindictive attack on Tony Abbott at the expense of dental health patients,” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton is concerned that CDDS will be closed and that the Labor alternative will never be delivered and at best will leave patients with chronic disease suffering dental problems for years longer.
“Dental services delayed, are health outcomes denied. Tony Abbott had a scheme in place which Labor has done nothing but attack. Labor promised a scheme in the 2008/09 budget and then completely failed to deliver it. Now they are promising to address waiting lists by negotiating with the states and more promises that just can’t be believed,” Mr Dutton said.