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Australians will have access to universal dental health care under reforms suggested by a federal government health commission.

The commonwealth will take over responsibility for all primary health care outside of hospitals and fund all outpatient services in hospitals.

The National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission has stopped short of calling for a full federal takeover of hospitals, but left open the option of the commonwealth funding 100 per cent of hospital admissions further down the track.

The annual cost of the reforms is estimated to be between $2.8 and $5.7 billion.

In addition, capital investment over five years of up to $7.3 billion is needed.

But the report says the changes could save $4 billion a year by 2032-33.

Of the 123 recommendations, one that could be most welcomed is the suggestion that commonwealth fund a new Denticare Australia.

The commission’s final report, released publicly on Monday, says there are more than 650,000 people currently on public dental waiting lists and the dental health of children is worsening.

‘To address these problems we are recommending a new universal scheme for access to basic dental services – Denticare Australia,’ the report says.

It will cost an estimated $3.6 billion a year. Under the scheme every Australian will have access to basic dental services ‘regardless of people’s ability to pay’.

It will be funded through an increase in the Medicare levy of 0.75 per cent of an individual’s taxable income.

source  :  www.bigpondnews.com

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About 200 students at an exclusive boys school have been told to stay home as 10 new cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Western Australia.

The WA health department said the latest cases – ratified on Sunday – lifted the number of confirmed cases in the state to 14.

On Saturday, the department reported that an 11-year-old boy from Scotch College and a 23-year-old woman who had visited Melbourne tested positive and were in home quarantine.

Of the 14 cases, nine are children, communicable disease control acting director Paul Effler said.

The nine children, all aged about 11, are at three Perth schools including six at Scotch College, two at Christ Church Grammar School and one at East Claremont primary school, all in Perth’s affluent western suburbs.

“We’re now working with schools to discuss the best course forward,” Dr Effler said.

“We’re recommending partial closure or in the case of a small school closure for a limited time.”

Scotch College acting headmaster Peter Freitag said about 200 students in years six and seven would stay home this week.

“We’ve been advised to go for a week,” Mr Freitag said.

No one infected with the virus in WA has been hospitalised and all were on their way to a full recovery from the virus, Mr Effler said.

Source :  http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/5634449/wa-swine-flu-cases-increase/

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