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Australian Greens launches health care plan

08-02-2010 17:04 BJT

CANBERRA, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- A national dental health care scheme, a minister for mental health and an end to junk food television advertisement for children were part of the Australian Greens' national health care plan, which was launched on Monday.

The plan was launched in Perth on Monday by Greens leader Bob Brown and health spokeswoman Rachel Siewert.

Senator Siewert said the measures targeted preventative health to keep people out of hospitals.

The combined cost of poor health and associated social impacts from tobacco and alcohol use, obesity, and poor dental, mental and hearing health was nearly 139 billion dollars (126 billion U.S. dollars) a year, Siewert told Australian Associated Press.

"We need to be focusing on keeping people well, rather than the sickness side of the health care system."

A national dental health care scheme aimed to end the waiting list of 500,000 Australians and included incentives to attract dental workers to rural areas.

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