2017 changes to the Child Dental Benefit Schedule

Media Release from ADA on 2017 CDBS changes

Kids still have some access to Australian Government supported dental care The Australian Dental Association (ADA) has mixed feelings about the dental funding announcement made by the Health Minister, the Hon. Sussan Ley.

Federal President of the ADA, Dr Hugo Sachs, said: “Retaining the CDBS means that children can access services close to where they live, ensuring continuity of care which is important for good oral health.

The ADA is pleased that the Minister announced she will continue the CDBS and drop her plans to introduce the poorly designed and funded child and adult Public Dental Scheme (caPDS)”. “However, the ADA laments the reduction in the cap available for the CDBS as it means that 1 in 5 children will not be able to get all their treatment needs met.

“While the ADA was supportive of an adjustment to the cap based on the findings in the Third Review of the Dental Benefits Act, there seems to be no evidence supporting a 30% drop. This means that children with the greatest need may miss out. It is not clear what will happen to children who need treatment that’s more than $700 / 2 years.

“Processes need to be put in place to ensure these children don’t end up being part of long dental waiting list in the public dental system.” Also, under the announced National Partnership Agreement (NPA) there is effectively a further reduction of money available for public dental services. This NPA announcement means that the Australian Government is committing just $97 million/year towards dental care for the next 2.5 years.

Dr Sachs concluded, “The ADA has continually offered to assist the Minister with dental reforms and remains available to advise on measures to improve access for adults and children in need”. Interviews available with: Dr Hugo Sachs, President of the Australian Dental Association