Content from Globe Newswire / Shared by Financial Post
Lack of consultation with provincial and territorial dental associations is worrying
TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — There are only two months left before the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) becomes available to many more Canadians. Yet more than 25,000 dentists nationwide are in the dark about how the Government of Canada will safeguard access to dental care.
In a letter sent to Members of Parliament (MPs) this week, the presidents of provincial and territorial dental associations across the country asked how the government will:
- Safeguard employer-provided dental plans that two-thirds of Canadians currently have access to?
- Ensure that a strong federal program can be coordinated with existing provincial programs?
- Protect patient choice and maintain the patient-provider relationship?
- Ensure minimal, efficient administration that promotes timely access to care?
- Respect the costs of delivering dental care to maximize provider participation?
- Increase the number of dental assistants and dental hygienists to meet the demands of the CDCP?
Dentists want to champion a CDCP that will respect patients, providers, and taxpayers. The provincial and territorial dental associations are concerned that the CDCP has been compromised by a lack of meaningful consultation with dentists – who will be expected to deliver on the government’s promises.
The CDCP is currently in final planning stages, with a potential rollout in 2024 that will attempt to increase access to uninsured Canadians under 18, people with disabilities, and seniors who have an annual family income of less than $90,000. Dentists believe all Canadians need access to dental care. If not done properly, two-thirds of Canadians who have great employer-provided dental plans could lose their coverage and be forced into a worse plan. Costs would then skyrocket, which means the $13 billion over five years the government set aside would not be enough to sustain the plan.
- Canada’s provincial and territorial dental associations represent more than 25,000 licensed dentists working in more than 16,000 offices. They treat more than 30 million Canadians every year and employ at least 50,0001 oral health care workers
- Over 60 per cent of Canadians have a dentist they visit on a regular basis
- A recent survey commissioned by Health Canada found that nearly nine out 10 Canadians are satisfied with the Canada Dental Benefit