Dentists release proposed framework for federal dental insurance plan

Move comes after they asked for more details on the program

Dentists release proposed framework for federal dental insurance plan

Life & Health

By Mika Pangilinan

Dental associations across Canada have released a joint statement outlining a proposed framework for the federal government’s forthcoming dental insurance plan.

The associations said their goal in releasing the framework is to help the government develop a plan that “will work well for patients, dental care providers and taxpayers alike.”

“This comprehensive and actionable framework for a strong dental care program is based on data, research and input from dental experts across regions and specialties,” the statement read.

Last month, Canada’s dental associations penned a letter to federal health minister Mark Holland asking for more details about the dental insurance plan. They also expressed concern over the absence of meaningful consultation with the dental community and said this may jeopardize the new plan’s success.

  • Current workplace, school, and/or group dental insurance systems must be respected under the federal plan
  • Patients should have the ability to choose their dentist within their community freely
  • Patients should not have to deal with unnecessary administrative delays and red tape
  • The new plan must be able to work with existing government dental programs
  • Dental professionals must be compensated fairly

Aside from these priorities, the dental associations have urged the government to develop a coordinated plan to address the existing shortage of dental hygienists and dental assistants across the country.

“The Canadian Dental Care Plan could become one of Canada's greatest achievements in public health, but only if the government gets it right,” said Dr. Brock Nicolucci, president of the Ontario Dental Association.

The dentists also recommended the temporary expansion of the Canada Dental Benefit while the new federal dental insurance plan is still being implemented.

“This is a fixed dollar amount that a patient can use to be reimbursed for dental-related expenses,” they said. “Nearly nine out of 10 Canadians support the Canada Dental Benefit, and public surveys suggest that most would support an oral health spending account as a permanent solution.”

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