People have been languishing for many years on the public dental waiting list. Some of those finally had a chance to have their dental treatment addressed through the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (MCDDS).
The cancellation of the MCDDS will flood the already overwhelmed public dental program with previous MCDDS patients who have ongoing, significant dental health needs on top of their general health problems. To add insult to injury, many current MCDDS patients will not be eligible for the new dental scheme. This means that many people, including self-funded retires, who were unable to anticipate huge medical expenses are being left with little or no government support to cover dental costs which often come on top of other burdensome medical expenses. Many will simply not be able to afford appropriate dental treatment and will be faced with the health consequences.
My friend Anthony is one of these people. He is a 28 year old Disability Support pensioner. As you can see from the photos, his teeth are in a dreadful state. He suffers from Epilepsy, ADHD, Anxiety and is borderline hypertensive. The state of his teeth means he cannot eat unprocessed food which is impacting his general health and is making it hard to lower his blood pressure through diet. The gingivitis causes his breath to have a pus smell. His teeth are so sensitive and painful that he can't brush his teeth properly.
We are one of the most highly taxed countries in the world. We should be able to afford quality care for our most vulnerable citizens.
We are petitioning too have the current MCDDS scheme continued along with improved regulation to lower costs of the scheme. There is an upcoming vote on a disallowance motion in the Parliament that will allow the continuation of the MCDDS.