Kathleen Curtis will struggle to finish her dental work.
Kathleen Curtis will struggle to finish her dental work. John Gass

Fixing teeth more costly as govt changes dental program

BANORA Point's Kathleen Curtis suffers from a rare disease called Sjogren's Syndrome which caused her to experience an extremely dry mouth and has forced her to seek intensive dental treatment.

"The lack of saliva causes tooth decay.

"I will need continued dental care but can't really afford it," Mrs Curtis said.

About two years ago, she signed up to the Federal Government's Chronic Disease Dental Scheme.

However, this scheme will come to an end in November leaving Mrs Curtis and many others in her position out in the cold.

"I'm afraid I won't get the treatment I need.

"I'll have to find the money some way," the 68 year old widow said.

The disease affected Mrs Curtis overall health and wellbeing and she also complained about other effects of the syndrome.

"It's one thing after another.

"Enough is enough," Mrs Curtis said.

The Federal Government advised it would replace the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme with a new scheme which would focus on children's dental health but that wouldn't help people like Mrs Curtis.

Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced the government would introduce a dental scheme for children costing about $4.1 billion at the start of 2014 and would follow this with a scheme for low-income adults in July of 2014.

Mrs Curtis said "the government should introduce some help for people with chronic illnesses especially the ones that cause tooth decay.

"That's not an unreasonable request."



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