Wendy Stewart, CDHA’s President has issued the following statement in a response to today’s announcement by Prime Minister Trudeau, that the government is moving forward on dental care by providing direct, tax-free payments to qualifying families who earn $90,000 or less, to pay for dental visits for children under 12, starting December, for a 2-year period, retroactive to October 1, 2022.
This latest announcement validates many issues and concerns faced by people in Canada when it comes to affordability and access to oral health care. In CDHA’s engagement with practising dental hygienists across Canada, we have heard clearly that delivering direct supports to vulnerable Canadians within a national model will make a meaningful difference as development of a comprehensive program continues with full implementation in the coming years.
CDHA notes that specific details about the dental expenses that will be covered for eligible families with kids under 12 were not addressed in today’s announcement, such as the specific services and the specific oral health care providers who will be eligible to provide and be paid for services in connection with the benefit.
As an interim measure, CDHA supports timely help for people who need it. “It’s important that the ultimate impact improves access to preventive dental hygiene services and professional oral care to help maintain good oral and overall health,” added Stewart. While the government continues to work out the eventual permanent details of the program, CDHA remains committed to working in partnership with government and experts to ensure access to a range of oral health services and supports.
CDHA is the collective national voice of more than 30,000 dental hygienists in Canada, directly representing 21,000 individual members, including students. Since 1963, CDHA has worked to advance the profession and promote the importance of oral health. Dental hygiene is the sixth-largest regulated health profession in Canada, with professionals working in a variety of settings, including independent dental hygiene practice, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health. For more information on oral health, visit dentalhygienecanada.ca.