This project aims to examine the early effects of two recent initiatives by the Australia government to improve children's dental health - through funding to cover essential dental services for children from disadvantaged families. The project team will explore the factors affecting eligible children's access to benefits from these initiatives and identify the impact of the new schemes on children's use of dental services, their dental health and general health, and general development. Through the use of sophisticated data analysis, the project is expected to contribute to effective policies for promoting the health and wellbeing of children.

Our first research paper from this project identified that only 30% of families are eligible under the new Child Dental Benefits Scheme. The scheme provides up to $1000 every two years for dental care, for Australian children whose households are eligible for a range of tax benefits (e.g., Family Tax Benefit A). This paper identified groups of children who were more or less likely to take up the program and provide a discussion of how the policy could be improved to increase participation and improve the dental health of Australian children.

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Project members

Our CBEH team

Profile photo of Professor Luke Connelly

Professor Luke Connelly 

Centre for the Business and Economics of Health

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Emeritus Professor Stephen Birch

Taylor Chair and Centre Director
Centre for the Business and Economics of Health

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Dr Lan Nguyen

ARC Discovery Research Fellow
Centre for the Business and Economics of Health


Our collaborators

Professor Pauline Ford
Associate Dean (Academic)
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, The University of Queensland

Dr Huong Le
Statistician and Data Officer
University of Western Australia

Dr Ha Nguyen
Senior Research Fellow
University of Western Australia

Professor Francesco Paolucci
Newcastle Business School
University of Newcastle