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CDBS expected to close by end of year
It is increasingly likely that the Child Dental Benefits Schedule
(CDBS) will close on 31 December this year.
Amendments to the Dental Benefits Act 2008, which will close the
CDBS and enact its replacement the Child and Adult Public Dental
Scheme (caPDS), are before the House of Representatives, with a vote
expected in the next sitting week commencing Monday, 5 September.
While it is expected these amendments will pass through the Lower
House, the make-up of the new Senate means that its passage
through that House cannot be predicted with absolute certainty.
However, given the government’s determination to close the Scheme,
which it first flagged in March this year, the ADA is urging practices to
contact their patients and strongly encourage them to book any CDBS-
eligible children in for treatment prior to the advised closure date.
An assurance has been given that benefits will be paid for any
eligible services provided on or before 31 December 2016.
While the government is promoting the caPDS as an equitable
replacement for the CDBS which will provide services to children
and concession cardholder adults, the ADA continues to maintain
that insufficient funding assistance is being provided to the states
and territories which will administer the new scheme.
The ADA is continuing to work closely with the Opposition and
crossbenchers to address issues regarding the reduced accessibility
of rural Australians to dental services under the new scheme and the
need for a voucher scheme if patients cannot be seen within three
The amended Act makes it clear that funding for both CDBS and
caPDS will be capped at $175 million for the 2016-17 financial year,
which means that if there is significant utilisation of the CDBS in its
final four months, there will be little left for the public system.
The new funding model will place an unfair burden on the public
healthcare system, profoundly disadvantaging the oral health of the
most at-risk Australians.
Annual renewal fees announced
In line with all National Boards, the Dental Board of Australia (DBA)
has announced its annual renewal fees for 2016-17.
Along with the Chiropractic, Pharmacy and Psychology Boards,
the DBA has limited its fee increases to indexation with dentists
and specialists paying $628, dental prosthetists $558, and dental
hygienists and therapists $310.
AHPRA CEO, Martin Fletcher, said the fees set for all the National
Boards reflect the commitment by the National Boards and AHPRA
to prudent financial management.
With up to one in three fly-in fly-out workers reportedly
experiencing mental health difficulties,
organisation R U OK? is urging workmates to support one another
before they hit rock bottom, as part of a new campaign.
R U OK? Scientific Advisor and Lifeline Executive Director, Alan
Woodward said that research shows that men, in particular, need to
be encouraged to speak up when they’re struggling.
“We know that people are more likely to turn to family, friends and
workmates during times of stress, so it’s vital that workmates are
empowered to have open and non-judgemental conversations,” Alan
said. “It’s not about fixing someone’s problems – it’s about giving
them the confidence and reassurance that they’re not alone. And
– if necessary – being positive about the role of health experts in
improving mental wellbeing.”
Given that safety and risk aversion is at the heart of FIFO work
practices, the campaign is a much-needed reminder that identifying
emotional danger in the workplace isn’t as obvious as identifying
Don’t wait to ask
New R U OK? campaign
“ The National Boards and AHPRA have set fees so that we can meet
our regulatory responsibilities under the National Scheme, while
also aiming to be effective and efficient regulators of registered
health practitioners, and protect the public,” Mr Fletcher said.
The annual renewal fees will apply from 1 September 2016 and
cover the registration period for most practitioners of 1 December
2016 to 30 November 2017.
further information on fees and the registration renewal
process can be found at ahpra.gov.au
resources can be downloaded
With the number of Australians taking their own lives on the rise to
almost eight deaths every day,2 R U OK? CEO, Brendan Maher urges
employers and business leaders to do more to foster workplace
cultures that encourage peer-to-peer conversations about wellbeing.
“Working away from family and friends inevitably takes a toll on
people; especially if they’re dealing with issues at home. We need to
remind workmates to watch out for the subtle changes that suggest
someone isn’t coping so well.
“Sharing this campaign within your organisation – and championing
it in a genuine, authentic way is one strategy all team leaders can
employ to foster positive
talking behaviour between
1. The impact of FIFO work practices on mental health Final report, published by
the Parliament of Western Australia, Perth 2015.
2. 3303.0 – Causes of Death, Australia, 2014, published by ABS 2016.
6 | ADA NEWS BULLETIN | SEPTEMBER 2016
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