Federal Health Minister Mark Holland announced the new dental care regime , on December 11, 2023 in Ottawa.
Nicolucci said, however, that even existing public dental programs that pay dentists require so much paperwork that dental clinics can't easily handle it, especially since they facing a staff shortage.
As for dental hygienists, the situation is also worrying.
We want to ensure that the administrative burden is reduced.
A quote from Ondina Love, Executive Director of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association
Every week, dental providers meet with federal officials to hammer out details of the plan, and Love said hygienists have been told they will be able to enroll in the program in February. The devil really is in the details. This is what the government is working on at the moment, finalizing the price list and the services provided, she said.
Introducing a regime of this nature will invariably be fraught with difficulties, said Dr. Carlos Quiñonez, a dental public health specialist at Western University in London, Ontario.
Dentists talk a lot about the administrative burden of public dental care programs, […] but the fact remains that controls are necessary to make good use of public money .
A quote from Dr Carlos Quiñonez, dental public health specialist at Western University London
He said that despite the administrative and financial burdens of caring for these patients, he believes most dental providers will want to participate in the program.
According to Ottawa estimates, the new plan should pay for dental care for 9 million Canadians.
We must also remember that dentists, like dental hygienists and denturists, are health care providers first and business people second, continued Dr. Carlos Quiñonez.
< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Ottawa also pledged $250 million, starting in 2025, to create an oral care access fund, which would be used to reduce barriers to access to care for vulnerable people.
Dental hygienist Rosemary Vaillant runs a mobile dental clinic that visits around 40 long-term care homes in Ottawa.
Dental hygienists, like Rosemary Vaillant who runs a mobile dental clinic that visits about 40 long-term care homes in Ottawa, said they hope the government will also fund preventative care services for people elderly, especially since they may have difficulty ensuring their oral hygiene.
Currently, Ms. Vaillant tries to ease the financial burden on her patients by sometimes splitting an appointment so they can afford to have their teeth treated. We do half the mouth, then they leave, and we give them another appointment to do the other half, she explains. [Because] I feel bad that they can't afford it.
John Kelso, 87, one of Ms. Vaillant's patients , said he is grateful that seniors and other vulnerable Canadians can benefit from free dental care.
Teeth are very important, a he declared. I am very happy to see all this. I wish this was the case a few years ago.
D' after a text by Marina von Stackelberg, fromCBC (New window)