November 17, 2023
Patients need access to dental care
France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt and Health Critic for the Official Opposition rose in the legislature to share the challenges Ontarians are facing accessing dental services in Ontario.
“Speaker, Ian Watson from my riding is a cancer survivor, living with the long-term side effects of radiation treatment for lymphoma; which means frequent dental problems and procedures. Ian was notified earlier this year that he’s no longer eligible for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Plan because his 2022 income exceeded the $22,200 Net Income threshold.
He is not the only one, Gail is $3 over, her net income is 22,203 so she no longer qualifies but she needs dental services and can not afford to pay. Unlike the Seniors Co-Payment Program which is based a yearly income after deductions the dental plan is based on income before deductions. Ian is asking why this provincial government applies a different interpretation of net income for one program versus another. But what thousands of seniors want to know is why is this government making it so difficult for seniors to access basic dental care. Why is the eligibility income set so low.
Your mouth is part of your body, if your mouth is sick and you don’t have private coverage you will end up at one of our province’s overcrowded emergency rooms in pain or worse. The government of Ontario has left way too many patients in pain. I suppose we’ll need to wait for the federal government to clean up this government mess.”