MORE than 60,000 Victorian public dental patients stand to miss out on crucial dental services under funding cuts by the federal government.
The government has announced a national partnership agreement on public dental services for adults, with a 30 per cent cut to dental investment from previous funding levels.
This amounts to almost $30 million over the life of the agreement, affecting patients and cutting jobs across Victoria as providers are forced to scale back services.
With the public system treating over 330,000 people every year, it will mean 60,000 Victorians could go without crucial dental care.
And it’s not just confined to Victoria, a nationwide decrease will disadvantage Australians everywhere.
Member for northern Victoria Mark Gepp said a cut to Victoria’s public dental services will hit some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in northern Victoria.
“Malcolm Turnbull’s new dental program is cutting vital funding to our public dental services and will leave thousands of Victorians without the dental care they need and deserve,” Mr Gepp said.
“In the Loddon-Mallee region these cuts will amount to $1,291,801.
“This means over 3,000 dental patients in the region will soon be unable to access dental care and treatment as a direct result of cuts by the Turnbull Government — that’s not good enough.”
People living in regional and rural communities will be hardest hit, with more than half of public dental agencies located in regional Victoria.
“Time and time again Victorians are missing out on health funding to prop up Malcolm Turnbull’s budget,” Mr Gepp said. “Time and time again we are seeing the Prime Minister for Sydney, Malcolm Turnbull, dudding Victorians, and Australians who need it most.”