The B.C. government plans to increase the number of dental surgeries done in the province by 15 per cent this year, as part of a strategy to improve access to dental care for vulnerable patients including disabled children and adults.
The strategy, announced on Monday by B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, follows years of lobbying by patients and advocacy groups frustrated by waits of months or even years for dental surgeries for people including children with autism and adults with dementia, who are not safely able to get dental care without anesthesia.
“Too many people with intellectual or developmental disabilities have not been able to access timely dental care. And as a result, they all too often suffer with severe and preventable deterioration in their dental health,” Faith Bodnar, executive director of advocacy group Inclusion B.C. said at a news conference held at B.C. Children’s Hospital.
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