Ontario seniors to receive publicly-funded dental care
Ontario is providing low-income seniors access to quality dental care through a new publicly-funded dental care program that will begin in late summer 2019.
Yesterday, Raymond Cho, Minister of Seniors and Accessibility and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, were at Taibu Community Health Centre in Toronto to announce an annual investment of $90 million for publicly-funded dental care for seniors, when fully implemented.
“No senior in Ontario should go without quality dental care,” said Minister Elliott. “Our government continues to put patients at the centre of care by providing seniors with the support they need to access high-quality and affordable dental care. We are taking another step in creating a sustainable and connected public health care system that is built for the people and for the future.”
Ontarians aged 65 and over with an income of $19,300 or less or couples with a combined annual income of $32,300 or less, who do not have dental benefits, will qualify for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program. The services will be accessed through public health units, community health centres and Aboriginal Health Access Centres across the province.
Untreated oral health issues can lead to chronic diseases and a reduced quality of life, while also creating a reliance on emergency departments already under increased capacity pressures.
- In 2015, there were almost 61,000 hospital emergency visits for dental problems, at a cost to Ontario’s health care system of approximately $31 million.
- Two-thirds of low-income seniors do not have access to dental insurance.