Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Federal dental care plan: tensions between dentists in Quebec and Ottawa

Open in full screen mode

The Association of Dental Surgeons of Quebec asks its members not to register as a provider under the new federal dental care plan. (Archive photo)

  • Estelle Côté-Sroka (View profile)Estelle Côté-Sroka

Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

The Association of Dental Surgeons du Québec (ACDQ) is asking its members not to register as a provider under the new federal dental care plan, Radio-Canada has learned. Canada's New Democratic Party (NDP) is urging Ottawa to resolve the impasse or the Liberals could pay the price.

We suggest you wait for our instructions before registering, indicates the president of the ACDQ, Carl Tremblay, in a letter addressed to the members of the Association, of which Radio-Canada has obtained a copy. He affirms that several formal requests from the group remain unanswered after intense negotiations with the government.

We have asked the government to remove from its various communications, including its website, any mention stating that dental care providers are ''encouraged'' to respect the [federal] rate scale, writes the president in his press release. This wording implies [that Ottawa] expects dentists to offer their services at a discount, to the detriment of their remuneration, continues Dr. Carl Tremblay.

Open in full screen mode

Dr. Carl Tremblay is president of the Association of Dental Surgeons of Quebec. (File photo)

Government sources confirmed to Radio-Canada that Ottawa strongly discourages oral care professionals from charging beyond the rates established in the Canadian system. Even people with an annual household income of less than $70,000 will have no guarantee of free treatment, as dentists may charge additional fees to their clients.

The president of the ACDQ urges the government to clarify to the population that the new federal dental insurance plan does not provide free access to dental care. He specifies that the Order of Dentists of Quebec had confirmed that no discount could be granted to a [particular] group due to the code of ethics.

He reminds dentists in his missive that they can charge their usual rates to their clients, particularly out of concern for fairness towards other patients who are not covered by the federal dental care plan.

Loading in progressChild protection: a “historic moment” for Indigenous people

ELSE ON NEWS: Child protection: a “historic moment” for Indigenous people

In a written statement, Dr. Carl Tremblay deplores that the government has chosen to establish, for its own reasons, a fee schedule well below the fee schedules of the provinces and territories.

It is the government's responsibility to explain things transparently to Canadians rather than leaving it to dentists are odious to do it.

A quote from Dr. Carl Tremblay, president of the Association of Dental Surgeons of Quebec

Carl Tremblay also deplores the fact that Canadians eligible for the federal insurance plan are obliged to be treated by a dentist who participates in the program. In his message to ACDQ members, he points out that patients lose their freedom to choose the dentist they trust. The president of the Association claims to have requested that dentists who have not joined the program be able to treat registered patients and that they be reimbursed by the federal government.

The provincial group also expresses reservations regarding the involvement of Sun Life as administrator of the insurance plan. The ACDQ wants to prevent reimbursement requests from this intermediary from generating unnecessary tasks for dentists.

For all these reasons, the ACDQ therefore recommended that dentists wait for clarification before registering as a provider of the program, argues Dr. Carl Tremblay in a statement.

Canada's NDP is urging the Liberal government to find solutions to these issues so that the federal dental insurance plan can be deployed. This program is a condition imposed by the NDP to support Justin Trudeau's minority Liberal government in key votes in the House of Commons.

It is essential that this moves forward, […] if the Liberals do not respect this, they will have to pay the price and the consequences.

A quote from Alexandre Boulerice, deputy leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada

The deputy leader of the NDP, Alexandre Boulerice, recalls that his party imposed the condition that families earning less than [$70,000] per year have access to dental care completely free.

Open in full screen mode

Deputy leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, Alexandre Boulerice. (Archive photo)

In an interview, Mr. Boulerice said that the federal government, thanks to the work of the NDP, will foot the bill for these people there and we don't want there to be additional costs.

If people don't have access to dentists, and it's not paid for by the federal government as […] agreed with Justin Trudeau's government, that could be an irritant, that's going to be a problem.

A quote from Alexandre Boulerice, deputy leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada

The office of the federal Minister of Health assures that the federal government will continue to collaborate with oral health professionals during the implementation of the [plan] to ensure that Canadians can get the care they need.

Open in full screen mode

Federal Health Minister Mark Holland. (File photo)

In a written statement, Mark Holland's office says it has conducted constructive consultations with all oral health professionals and regulatory bodies, including provincial and territorial dental associations.

With the collaboration of Louka Jacques

  • Estelle Côté-Sroka (View profile)Estelle Côté-SrokaFollow

By admin

Related Post