Subject: Urgent Support Needed: Ensure Equitable Access to Speech Therapy for Cleft-Affected Children.
Dear [Politicians Name],
I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to urgently request your support for a proposed amendment to the [Health Insurance Amendment (Prescribed Dental Patients and Other Measures) Bill 2023] https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r6997
My name is [Your Name],and I have a personal connection to the issue. [Briefly explain your relationship to an individual with a cleft lip or palate condition and their need for speech therapy services.]
In Australia, approximately 1 in 700 children are born with the cleft lip and palate condition, which is more common than any other birth defect. About 75% of these children will have a severe form of the condition, requiring multiple maxillofacial and oral surgeries, as well as ongoing speech therapy services after those surgeries.
The bill addresses an important issue with the cleft scheme by removing the age cap for dental services; however, it falls short of providing necessary speech therapy services – a critical element to a cleft-affected child’s social and emotional development. To address this gap, Senator Jordan Steele-John is proposing an amendment that will make a limited number of speech therapy services available to cleft-affected children nationwide through the Medicare system. Community-run charities, [CleftPALS Victoria] https://www.cleftpalsvic.com/ and [CleftPALS New South] https://cleftpalsnsw.org.au, in consultation with industry peak bodies, have long advocated for this change. For further information on this amendment, please contact Naomi Brooks at Senator Steele-John’s office ([Naomi.Brooks@aph.gov.au](mailto:Naomi.Brooks@aph.gov.au)) or Jessica Beckman, the campaign manager from CleftPALS Victoria ([email@example.com](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)).
Your support is crucial to ensure that children affected by cleft lip and palate have equitable and affordable access to vital speech therapy services. Your support can make a significant difference in the lives of Australian children and their families in your electorate. I kindly request your prompt response to this email, sharing your thoughts and stance on the bill. Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue and I look forward to your reply.