The Government’s $4.1 billion Dental Reform package contains three initiatives:
- Grow Up Smiling, a child dental benefits schedule;
- a National Partnership Agreement for Adult Public Dental Services; and
- a Flexible Grants Program.
Services for basic essential dental treatment, such as check-ups, x-rays, fillings and extractions will be included in Grow Up Smiling. High end (crowns, bridges, root canal) and orthodontic items are excluded. The total benefit entitlement will be capped at $1,000 per child over a two year period.
- Grow Up Smiling
- Medicare Teen Dental Plan
- Chronic Disease Dental Scheme
- Oral Health Therapist Graduate Year Measure
- Better Oral Health in Residential Care training
National Partnership Agreement (NPA) for adult public dental servicesThe Government will provide $1.3 billion to states and territories from 1 July 2014 under a NPA to expand services for adults in the public dental system. The funding will assist up to 1.4 million low income adults to receive dental services.
This measure builds on the 2012-13 Dental Waiting List NPA, which is focused on treating the 400,000 adults currently on public dental waiting lists. More information on the 2012-13 Dental Budget Measures.
The NPA will provide longer-term certainty and will allow the public system to move away from a focus on emergency crisis management to prevention and oral health promotion.
The NPA’s deliverables will be customised for each state and territory depending on the demonstrated local needs and progress under the 2012-13 Dental Waiting List NPA.
Flexible grants programUnder the Flexible Grants Program a total of $225 million will be provided for dental infrastructure (both capital and workforce) in outer metropolitan, rural and regional areas to assist in reducing access barriers for people living in these areas. The grants may also be used for targeted programs to address other gaps in service delivery.
Examples of projects that could be funded include: innovative models of care to help reach people in more isolated locations; building new public dental clinics in regional centres; refurbishing ageing clinics; and dental facilities in aged care accommodation.
Organisations from the public and private sector will be able to apply. Further details on eligibility will be available in late 2013 when the Department publishes the Invitation to Apply for funding under the Program.