The Newsroom
- 6 million Canadians avoid the dentist each year due to financial constraints
-1/3 Canadians lack dental insurance
-People unable to afford dental care place a burden on our public health care system by visiting the ER and physicians’ offices for dental pain. In 2014, Ontario doctors’ offices were visited every 3 minutes and emergency departments every 9 minutes for patients seeking treatment for dental pain. Using minimum estimates this cost taxpayers $38 million dollars.
-In 2010 Canadians spent $309 per capita on dental care while providing poor outcomes for poor and middle-class communities. Dental care spending in France is $175 per capita whereas in the UK is $141 per capita. Both France and the UK provide dental insurance for 100% of their populations while allowing people to obtain supplementary private insurance for esthetics procedures and for co-payments.
-With the baby boomer generation retiring and loosing work related dental insurance and younger generations working in the gig economy that is less likely to provide dental insurance these problems are only expected to get worse. Having a single payer Universal Dental Plan will ensure Canadians have coverage regardless of employment status and free up collective bargaining for other priorities.
-In the short term passing the federal NDPs proposal to provide dental insurance for households making $70k per year or less, and dental insurance with copayments for households between $70k-90k per year is important and will help many. We must not stop there; we must conclude that a means tested program will not be able to provide what a single payer system can when it comes to decreasing dental spending and providing equitable care.
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