The Need for Better Dental Care is Growing in Canada
The public dental health care plan in Canada isn’t good enough by international standards, which could very well be a result of the country’s incredibly low budget allotment for the dental care of its citizens. It was found that Spain is the only country in the entire OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) that has a lower budget than Canada for public dental care. As the prices for getting quality dental treatments in many parts of Canada (Alberta for example) are already very high and are continuing to rise higher, it’s time the government steps in with a few effective measures and a bigger budget.
The Situation as it Stands
The Canadian government currently funds only about 6% of the roughly $12.5 billion which Canadian citizens spend on dental expenses every year and that’s way below the expected minimum subsidization. The rest of that money is charged directly to the patient party or paid by private/company insurance. This doesn’t even take into account the fact that nearly half the population doesn’t even spend their money on oral care simply because they can’t afford to do so.
Even the Available Public Dental Service is Below Standard
Even in the locations where a free public service is available, the clinics cannot be recommended for anything more than a basic check-up. The facilities have so little equipment and provisions for patients that dentists often choose to remove diseased teeth that could have been saved with proper treatment. Understaffed, low-paid and ill-equipped public dental care clinics are not exactly places that anybody would willingly visit, but unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have any choice.
How is the Private Dental Care in Canada?
Fortunately, if you can afford it, Canada has quite a number of very well-equipped and reliable private dental facilities. For example, if you are looking for a dentist, Barrie has the excellent Molson Park Dental Office, which is equipped to handle all emergencies, regular check-ups and even the cosmetic needs of its patients.
Low-income Groups are Suffering the Most in Canada
The worst of the current situation is being faced by the low-income groups as the maximum income limit to qualify for social assistance is so low that they can neither avail the sub-par public facilities, nor can they afford the expensive private treatments.
How Can the Situation be Improved?
The major dental institutions in the country and the government must work closely together to devise strategies that will help them to encounter growing dental problems in Canada. Nevertheless, there are four primary concerns that need to be addressed next year and they are as follows.
- The funding for public dental care needs to be increased significantly
- The eligibility criterion for assistance must be adjusted so that more people who need it can come under the coverage
- The current public clinics need to be refunded with better equipment and staff
- The cost of dental expenses must be controlled to ensure fair pricing throughout Canada
Back in 2010, Ontario had put in $45 million to improve general oral health in the province and it was fruitful. Ontario remains one of the very few provinces in Canada that has some sort of a public dental treatment infrastructure at the local community health centres. Many more initiatives throughout Canada, in the line of what Ontario did 7 years back, are necessary to see improvements in the dental health conditions of the nation.