New Democrats Announce First Step to Free Dental Care

Jagmeet Singh - Our Denticare plan is a first step towards Tommy Douglas’ vision – comprehensive dental care as part of our healthcare system
Jagmeet Singh - Our Denticare plan is a first step towards Tommy Douglas’ vision – comprehensive dental care as part of our healthcare system

SUDBURY – POLITICS – Today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announced the unprecedented commitment of making the first step towards free dental care for all Canadians. Including dental care in our health care system for those who don’t get the care they need will help millions of Canadians.

“No one should have to deal with the pain or lifelong damage of going without dental care,” said Singh. “Some people have workplace insurance plans – but millions of Canadians don’t have any dental coverage at all. Trudeau’s Liberals refuse to even consider helping these Canadians. This doesn’t make sense. We need to ensure people are getting the care they need.”

Millions of Canadians don’t visit the dentist every year because they can’t afford to. Liberals and Conservatives chose to ignore these needs. New Democrats will work together with provincial partners and health professionals to expand Medicare to include dental services.

“Our Denticare plan is a down payment on Tommy Douglas’ vision – comprehensive dental care as part of our healthcare system,” added Singh. “Unlike the Liberals and the Conservatives, New Democrats are going to help people who need it, right now.”

This is all part of the NDP’s New Deal for People to make life more affordable for families, young people, and seniors.

Facts

  • Our plan will extend public dental care coverage to 4.3 million Canadians.
  • We will put in place a national dental care plan to help uninsured Canadians with household incomes below $90,000, starting right away in 2020.
  • Dental care will be free for households making under $70,000, with a sliding copayment for those who earn between $70,000 and $90,000.
  • Under the NDP’s Denticare plan, a family of four that has a household income of $70,000 or less would save at least $1,240 if they received the recommended dental examinations and cleanings in a single year, and if each child was treated for a single cavity.
  • Our Denticare plan is the first step towards Tommy Douglas’ vision – comprehensive dental care as part of our healthcare system. He championed the idea more than thirty years ago: “The ultimate goal of Medicare must be to keep people well rather than just patching them up when they get sick… It means expanding and improving Medicare by providing pharmacare and denticare programs.” (The Future of Medicare, 1984)
  • Almost 20% of Canadians avoid the dentist every year because of the cost.
  • Ignoring dental care needs end up costing our health care system. Emergency room visits because of dental emergencies cost taxpayers at least $155 million annually but often don’t address underlying dental issues, leading to return visits and ongoing pressures on our health care system.
  • The Liberals have refused to even consider helping Canadians with their dental care needs. In fact, Liberal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor recently said, with respect to dental care, that “no federal investments are being made”.