Dental industry: Cash reaches insurers more than dentists

THE dental industry has claimed the out-of-pocket expense of oral health care is going to private health insurers, rather than dentists.

The Australian Dental Association gave evidence to a Senate inquiry examining health care costs of Australia's hip pockets this week.

It showed Australians were contributing $7.4 billion towards their own dental care, and most were able to access care, ADA president Dr Karin Alexander said.

But despite that spending, it was not necessarily reaching dentists, instead going to rises in insurance premiums and gaps between dentists' fees and rebates.

"Many blame the dentist but the ADA's annual fee surveys show that average dentists' fees for the last five years are below health inflation and average private health insurance premium increases," she said.

Dr Alexander said government schemes and insurance rebates were "inadequately short" compared to the cost of providing dental care.

The Senate inquiry is due to report back to parliament in early August.


5 myths about The Northern Star we want to bust

5 myths about The Northern Star we want to bust

OPINION: Our journos have been covering news that matters on the Northern Rivers...

Qld opening with NSW now in doubt

Qld opening with NSW now in doubt

Queensland border: Opening with NSW in November may be in doubt

FLYING HIGH: Number of flights into Ballina set to jump

Premium Content FLYING HIGH: Number of flights into Ballina set to jump

Ballina airport is going gangbusters, with the number of flights set to increase by...