$200 million dental package up for grabs in budget

A $200 million dental package will be contingent on state and territory government's agreeing to the deal, with funding to be laid out in Tuesday's federal budget.

The package Health Minister Susan Ley announced on Sunday would include a $155 million 12-month renewal of the National Partnership Agreement on Dental.

Under the proposal, the funds would be linked to the existing child dental benefit scheme, and states would have to agree to the Commonwealth terms to receive funding.

Ms Ley said the funds would support dental services for the next 12 months, while the government looked to reform the dental health system, as part of the existing Federation White Paper.

She said dental health problems placed a "significant burden" on the health system, and it was difficult to maintain it as "services are spread across multiple delivery and funding models".

But Labor's health spokeswoman Catherine King said the announcement was not new funding, but "confirmation of a $390 million cut" from last year's budget.

Last year's budget papers show the government deferred the $390 million dental health reform measure to start in 2015-16, instead of 2014-15.

Ms King said that deferral had denied "thousands of adults with very poor dental health" to access services. - APN Newsdesk


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