One in three Australians say they can’t afford to go to the dentist, or delay going to the dentist because of the cost.
This results in an unnecessary burden on the health system. An estimated 500,000 people are on waiting lists for public dental care, with average wait times of 27 months and in some cases higher than 5 years. More than 60,000 avoidable hospital visits are caused every year by dental problems.
This epidemic of dental neglect has a profound effect on the lives of many Australians. It affects their ability to talk, to enjoy food and maintain adequate nutrition, and to sleep. It can prevent people getting jobs or rental housing. It complicates other health issues, making people more likely to end up seriously ill.
The Greens’ plan to bring dental care into Medicare means the mouth is treated like any other part of the body.
Dear Treasurer Swan,
I support increased funding for dental health care in this year’s Budget.
I want my mouth to be treated just like the rest of my body. It’s time to bring dental care into Medicare.
Dental waiting lists are too long. Australia is in the middle of a dental health crisis. Millions of us can’t afford to see a dentist.
I want the Government to honour its commitment with the Greens and the Australian people to boost funding for dental care.
It’s time to put your money where your mouth is and support the Greens’ Denticare plan.