Dental care in Australia is a policy anomaly; for some reason, the mouth is treated very differently to other parts of the body. About 58% of dental costs are met directly from patients’ pockets, compared to 11% for medical primary care, and 12% for prescriptions.
As a result of these large out-of-pocket costs, two million Australians each year defer visits to a dentist or miss out on dental care. Poorer people are more likely to miss out.
Authors: Stephen Duckett, Director, Health Program, Grattan Institute