Monday, March 15, 2010

Medicare dentistry full of holes

If Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon is agreeing with critics of the grant for people who require financial help for their teeth, does this mean the system is cunningly on the way to the scrap heap? "Runaway uptake of the scandal-plagued Medicare dental scheme is spreading nationwide, with latest figures showing claims for expensive crowns and bridges soaring in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

"One unidentified Sydney dentist was revealed yesterday to have claimed about $4 million in benefits since the scheme began in November, 2007.

"The federal government has twice sought to scrap the scheme and replace it with a more targeted program - but been blocked by the Senate.

"Allegations of rorting and other dubious practices are also continuing to spread, with some dentists engaging in mass leaflet drops of entire suburbs and others apparently using the $4250 available under the scheme to provide costly crowns and other treatments while ignoring the more urgent work such as fillings.

"Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the latest evidence of rising uptake made the case for scrapping or amending the scheme more urgent ..."

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