According to a recent study conducted by Ipsos Social Research Institute, in the past two years there are around two million people, who needs to consult with a dentist. However, they can not afford to pay for the service.
The report claims that even those people, who are eligible for health insurance, can not afford to pay the high price. There in estimated 25 percent of residents from Sydney did not go to the dentist as they do not have the money to pay for the dentist service.
Director, Ryan Williams says the cost problems are not just concerning people, who belongs to the lower-income households. The problem also affects the middle-income households, and it also pushes into the higher brackets.
The head of oral pathology and oral medicine at the University of Sydney, Hans Zoellner, says the numbers are even greater if they are going to consider those people who did not immediately require dental care but who can not pay for it, when needed. ‘The state government believes half of people do not have the money to pay for dental care, but the public system can not hide the demand.
Associate Professor Zoellner believes that the high cost of dental care was the result of the lack of a mechanism such as Medicare in controlling pricing.
He claims that there are no viable factors in dentistry.
The difference in the medical industry is the federal government is ready to provide rebates across the whole population. Medicare generates a competitive pressure in a rare situation where demand still surpasses supply … Most dentists are honest people; however, since dental service is a free market they could charge whatever they want.
There is a total of 2700 participants in the study. It anticipated that there are over 3.5 million people, who had not visited a dentist in more than four years. An added 300,000 people were on public waiting lists.
Professor Zoellner thinks that an unsatisfactory dental care could lead to a chronic condition such as strokes, worse heart disease, and worse control of diabetes, more amputations, more kidney failure, and more blindness.
The federal government’s earlier attempt in bringing dentistry under a funding model like Medicare – a program known as the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme. The program introduced by the Howard government – is in disarray and projected to be closed by the end of this year.
The program is the focus of a massive investigation by the government, which assesses the records of over 600 dentists, who looks for potential misuse of government funds.