Letter to the Editor: Make Dental Care an Election Issue

In Community, Letter to Editor

To the Editor:

Access to dental care is essential for overall health. It’s encouraging then to hear Ontario’s political parties promising to expand publicly-funded dental care to cover more people. Currently, one in five Ontarians do not visit a dentist due to cost.

While some provincial programs provide dental care coverage to children and teens, and those on social assistance, many others cannot get any help. I see the toll lack of dental care has on people in my volunteer work at the Soupertime lunch program at St. Peter’s Church in Cobourg. Dental problems that are not addressed make it difficult for people to eat healthy food, get jobs, care for their families, and be active community members.

Based on data from Ontario’s health ministry, the Northumberland Oral Health Coalition found 351 residents in Northumberland – and 61,000 Ontarians – visited hospital ERs in 2015 due to dental problems. All ER staff can do is to prescribe painkillers and antibiotics, since hospitals are not equipped to treat dental problems. At a cost of at least $513 per hospital visit, these ER trips cost our health care system at least $180,000 locally and $31 million provincially for no treatment!

These shocking figures show the need to invest in expanded publicly-funded dental coverage.

During this Ontario election, ask candidates how their parties will fix this appalling gap in our health care system.

Fran Richardson
Retired Dental Hygienist
Member, Northumberland Oral Health Coalition

Steve White | Mortgage Advisor
Author: Steve White | Mortgage Advisor

Steve White is a mortgage advisor agent with Mortgage Alliance with nearly 10 years experience as a real estate investor and agent. He specializes in working with new homeowners and investors. He helps homeowners use their mortgage to make the world a better place, from sponsoring and funding minor league sports, financing medical research and working towards solving homelessness and international poverty.

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