ADIA CEO Update: Child Dental Benefits Schedule
Two weeks ago I outlined ADIA's focus on oral health in aged care for the coming year. As part of the Australian Oral Health Collaboration (AOHC), ADIA is working with both sides of politics to ensure the expanded scope of care in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) includes oral health.
Along with this, we are working to increase awareness of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS). The CDBS is a well-funded, underutilised federal program, providing eligible children in Australia with part or the full cost of basic dental care services.
Child Dental Benefits Schedule at a Glance
Currently, only 39% of the annual allocated budget for the CDBS is being spent. With more than three million children eligible for the CDBS and approximately $854 million going unused each year, there is a real opportunity to make a measurable difference to the health of children in Australia at no additional cost to the public.
ADIA has been in discussion with various MPs since October last year regarding the unused budget. The Association is appealing to Government to allocate a small portion of these funds to an awareness campaign.
Increased awareness of the CDBS among parents will mean the program has the potential to reach and treat a further 1.8 million eligible children in Australia biennially.
We expect to continue dialogue with both sides of politics regarding the CDBS so we are well placed to assist with improvements to the program following the election.
I would like to thank Board member, Alex Abrahams for his dedication to the cause, assistance in background research, and communication with Members of Parliament.
Work on the Child Dental Benefits Schedule and oral health in aged care are just some of the ways we are working to uphold the ADIA vision of an industry that empowers oral health professionals to advance the health and well-being of all Australians.