Universal health coverage for dental care in Canada
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Oral health is a vital component to overall health and wellness, and as such, it is important that all Canadians have equal access to preventative and emergency oral care treatments despite income. We propose that dental care should be part of Canada’s universal healthcare system as it is undeniably a medically necessary service.
In contrast to Canada’s national public health coverage, dental care in Canada is almost wholly privately financed through employment-based insurance, private insurance, or out-of-pocket payments. The challenges associated with accessing dental care are profoundly linked to issues of affordability, and changes to employment type (from full-time to part-time and contract positions) and subsequent changes to insurance coverage has left almost one third of Canadians without dental insurance, leading to significant financial burden and poor health outcomes.
It isn’t until you are faced with the predicament of choosing an expensive procedure to relieve unbearable tooth pain or pulling the tooth simply because you can’t afford the treatment, can you understand the value that universal dental care could provide to Canadians. Our healthcare system covers all Canadians for services deemed “medically necessary” to which we propose includes dental care.
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