OTTAWA – Dental care is health care. In a country with a universal single-payer health care system, everyone should have access to dental care.
A recent report from the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences found that cost is one of the main reasons many people do not go to the dentist, leaving our most vulnerable populations susceptible to cavities, disease and debilitating pain.
The Green Party platform, released this week, calls for an expansion of Canada’s single-payer medicare system to include dental care for low-income Canadians.
“Our health-care system provides a great model of universal care,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “But dental health is an integral part of a person’s overall physical wellbeing. We must move to promote equality in people’s access to dental care.”
Ms. May said that proposals for extending free dental care to all Canadians, while attractive, come with a huge price tag. “Our costing showed that this would involve a budget hit of more than $40 billion; there is no way that is feasible at the present time.”
Ms. May said the Green proposal will promote equity. It will ensure that low-income Canadians can visit the dentist regularly and save millions in associated health-care costs down the line.