The Federal Government has axed the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) which was launched in January 2014, and they are replacing it with the a reformed funding for the Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme (CaPDS) via the states and territories.
The impact of the CDBS in the past 2 years was significant for children, with 9.7 million services.
The Federal budget has confirmed that the allocated public funding for dental services for 3.4 million children was only accessed by 30% of eligible children. The new scheme allows for dental treatment for 10 million adults and children through the public system, however analysis indicates that this amounts to $42 per head, with an already over-burdened public system.
A Report on the Third Review of the Dental Benefits Act 2008 indicates that the original target was unrealistic rather than there being any significant underutilisation, and this is attributed to minimal promotion by the government.
There is widespread support for the CDBS in the dental profession and through the greater community.
The Australian Dental Association believes that the CDBS has made a sizeable impact on addressing dental health deficiencies among Australian children and allows children to access private care and dentists of their choice. Furthermore the vast majority of dentists chose to bulk bill with the CDBS, which is a reduction in standard fees, which meant that eligible children could access the best care possible. Orthodontic work was excluded from funding.
The House of Representatives and the Senate have to approve budgetary measures and the Department of Health has confirmed that it will continue to operate until such time.
To support the CDBS:
☞ Sign the petition that is online via ada.org.au
☞ The ADA have created the hashtag #savetheCDBS