New dental plan to pain some

LOCAL dentist Dr Santosh Joy has reiterated concerns from the dental profession regarding the Federal Government's closure of the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme.

He said almost half of his patients receiving treatment under the scheme would not have had their treatments finished by December 1.

After that, they will have to pay for the dental work themselves. He was also concerned people could get a treatment plan authorised on September 1 but end up in a situation where the work that had been authorised was not finished and they would be forced to fund the treatment gap from their own pockets.

His statements were backed by Australian Dental Association executive officer Dr Hugo Sachs.

"There are a significant number of treatments that cannot be completed in 12 weeks," said Dr Sachs. "Anything from ongoing gum disease treatment, orthodontics and dentures where we have to wait for the extraction wound to heal before fitting."

He said there had been no real consultation with the profession.

A spokesperson from Tanya Plibersek's office, when fronted with these statements, made the following reply via email.

"The 12 week transition period will allow an appropriate length of time for patients to complete treatment services that may have begun before the announcement of the scheme's closure," said the spokesperson.



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