Funding uncertainty for public dental care over—for now

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Funding uncertainty for public dental care is over, at least for now, with the Australian Government announcement today that the National Partnership Agreement on dental funding has been extended for 12 months.  

While this extension is welcome, can Minister Hunt assure Australians who rely on public dental services that we won’t be facing the same uncertainty yet again this time next year?

Funding announcements that are delayed until less than 3 weeks before current funding expires represent extremely poor practice.

This destabilises health services, affects employment of staff and other contractual arrangements, and shows disdain for the needs of patients.

Now, more than ever, with so many people out of work or with reduced incomes, ensuring affordability and availability of dental health care is critical.

A longer-term vision for affordable dental health care is urgently required—and this must be more meaningful than the Minister’s claims today that affordability is supported through the Government’s subsidies for private health insurance.


The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, Primary Health Networks, and community and primary healthcare services.


Media enquiries: Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive, AHHA, 0403 282 501