A damning report today from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has confirmed that 39 per cent of Australians avoided or delayed dental care in 2017 -18 due to cost, increasing 8 per cent in 11 years.
 
In the same year, around 72,000 preventable hospitalisations occurred for potentially preventable dental conditions.
 
It’s clear that the Morrison Government is failing Australians on oral health.
 
Last month Minister Hunt insufficiently extended the rollover of the agreement between the Commonwealth and the states to fund public dental care for those who can’t afford it – allowing only a 12 month extension on this program.
 
During COVID-19 many dental services were suspended necessarily, meaning Australians are already further behind the eight ball when it comes to their oral health.
 
Today’s report also shows that even those Australians who are covered by private health insurance can still be out of pocket up to almost $2,000 for dental procedures.
 
Australians want and deserve a health system that is fair and accessible for all. This has been made abundantly clear in the past few months.
 
Under the Morrison Government out of pocket costs and waiting lists for essential health services are at record highs.