Tuesday 12 June 2012 Labor is being called to account for their rotten record on dental health delivery.
The Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, Peter Dutton, has called on the Gillard Government to deliver dental services not just promises.
“Labor’s rotten record on dental continues. Promises won’t fix teeth. Delivery of services will,” Mr Dutton said.
Labor’s proposed Commonwealth Dental Health Program (CDHP) has been promised many times but never delivered. Firstly at the 2007 election, later in the 2008-09 Budget and countless mentions since. In the 2012-13 Budget, the scheme was scrapped without ever commencing.
Labor claimed in 2007 its CDHP would treat close to one million patients. Labor has repeatedly promised to close the Chronic Dental Disease Scheme (CDDS), in order to fund the CDHP. Senate Estimates recently revealed that CDDS is already close to the 1 million patients mark.
The CDDS is the only Medicare based dental scheme. Labor has failed to deliver a Medicare based scheme.
Mr Dutton has linked Labor’s rotten record to its political preoccupation with attacking the CDDS. Labor is using alleged rorts to disguise their political motive of attacking the scheme because it was set up by Tony Abbott.
“If Labor had directed their energy at reform instead of trying to close the Chronic Dental Disease Scheme, more Australians would have been treated,” Mr Dutton.
Mr Dutton has called Health Minister Tanya Plibersek to keep her promise to make dental health reform a top priority. A promise made when she assumed the portfolio in 2011. He believes Ms Plibersek must reverse the approach of her predecessor Nicola Roxon to achieve reform.
“The Minister Plibersek must prove she is not from the same incompetent Labor mould as Ms Roxon. Otherwise this rotten incompetence will continue,” Mr Dutton said.
Labor’s rotten dental record isn’t trusted by Greens either. The Greens are preventing the Gillard Government from closing the CDDS because they know Labor can’t be trusted to deliver on dental promises.