Federal Member for Aston Alan Tudge MP has warned the end of the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (CDDS) on December 1 would put the health of many older and low income residents in Knox at risk.
The Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (CDDS) provided up to $4,250 in Medicare dental benefits over two years for eligible patients with a chronic health condition (asthma, cancer, cardiovascular illness, diabetes mellitus, arthritis, mental illness, musculoskeletal conditions and stroke).
Local Knox disabled pensioner Anja Filek is one of thousands who will be left out in the cold when the scheme is cut. Anja is chronically ill and visits her dentist every 4 months.
“As a pensioner I simply cannot afford the dental care that I need on a regular basis,” Ms Filek said.
“I just don’t know what I’m going to do in the 19 months between this scheme closing down and a replacement one starting,” she said.
Mr Tudge has spoken publicly in parliament and across Knox about his opposition to cutting the scheme which will see chronically ill people of all ages forced onto overcrowded public dental waiting lists.
“80% of patients under the CDDS are concession card holders and they are being shoved out in the cold by this decision,” Mr Tudge said.
“The Government has said it will replace the scheme with a more limited program, but that won’t start for adults until July 2014 – which is a 19 month wait.”
“Despite the cuts to the program I will continue to fight for the patients on the CDDS whose health is being put at risk by the government’s ham-fisted attempts at balancing its budget,” he said.