18 September 2012 Minister Plibersek’s ‘Let them eat cake’ policy approach axes the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (CDDS), on the 30 November this year, with no care for adult patients until they join long public dental waiting lists, in July 2014.
Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, Peter Dutton, is fighting to protect the patients being abandoned by the Gillard Government.
“Cancer sufferers, heart patients, diabetics and other chronic disease sufferers can’t wait two years or more for dental treatment. Minister Plibersek is either out of touch or indifferent for political reasons,” Mr Dutton said.
Minister Plibersek made a revealing comment about her Canberra habits yesterday, at the Labor ACT Campaign Launch.
“I must admit to spending about 99% of my time here in either my office at Parliament House or at a Silo Bakery table,” Ms Plibersek said.
The Coalition is moving a disallowance motion in the hope of retaining the CDDS until an alternative dental scheme is operating.
“This is another Labor policy disaster in the making. The Coalition is again warning of serious consequences. If the Prime Minister and Minister Plibersek won’t listen, I call on the Labor backbench and independents to revolt against the ‘Ministerial Palace’ by supporting the disallowance motion,” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton believes a bi-partisan approach on dental is still achievable, if Labor re-discovers its concern for the disadvantaged, particularly low income chronic disease sufferers.
“The Coalition is committed to investment in dental. If transitional arrangement take into account the welfare of existing patients – then there will be an opportunity for bi-partisanship,” Mr Dutton said.