April 6, 2019
by Taryn Grant, Star Halifax
Nova Scotia’s New Democrats are pushing for a free dental hygiene program for every child in the public school system.
The opposition party proposed amendments to the Health Services and Insurance Act Friday, which would see the province hire dental hygienists to provide dental exams, cleaning and fluoride treatments to students from grades primary to 12.
“This would go a long way to giving everybody equal access to dental services,” NDP leader Gary Burrill said at Province House.
Burrill wants the government to hire 35 hygienists at an estimated cost of $5 million annually.
The program would complement a service that the NDP introduced when they were in government in 2013. The Children’s Oral Health Program, which has continued under the Liberal government, pays for dental exams and some treatments for children up to the age of 14 when they don’t have private coverage.