Following the fall economic statement, Ontario’s dentists are frustrated the province missed yet another opportunity to fix the severe funding gap in public dental programs.
The provincial government is also launching the seniors’ dental program, even though there is still much confusion around how care will be provided and funded.
Ontario’s low-income seniors need a dental program that works.
This plan would force many of them to endure the stress and financial burden of leaving their current dentist, who knows their medical history, to travel long distances in rural areas for treatment with a dental team they don’t know.
Even local health units are scrambling to figure out how to make this program work on the scarce information and resources they’ve been given.
But this isn’t the only dental program that falls short of serving vulnerable Ontarians.
There are four other major programs for children, families, people with disabilities, and those with complex medical conditions and none of them are funded properly either.
To try to get movement on this issue, the Ontario Dental Association sent a submission to the Minister of Finance Rod Phillips this morning clearly detailing these issues in an easy to understand way.
“We’ve had an open-door policy with the provincial government from the get-go,” said ODA president Dr. Kim Hansen.
“We want to work with them to bring existing dental care programs for low-income Ontarians up to standard. The delays need to stop. It’s time we finally see positive action from this government.”