Now is the time to get Ontario’s five existing dental programs properly funded
TORONTO, ON — For more than 30 years, Dr. Lisa Bentley has been providing dental care to thousands of people in Mississauga and has seen first-hand how badly underfunded Ontario’s dental programs are. As the new president of the Ontario Dental Association (ODA), Dr. Bentley is calling on newly re-elected Premier Doug Ford to do better for the hundreds of thousands of people in need of dental care by fully funding the province’s dental programs.
The ODA is also asking to be at the table during negotiations with the province and federal government over how the $5.3 billion federal dental care investment will be used in Ontario. Dr. Bentley says, “We represent over 10,000 dentists so it only makes sense we’re part of the discussion. The ODA can give the invaluable insight needed to make sure taxpayer money will be used wisely and this massive funding gap will finally be fixed.”
Just before the election, the Ontario government offered to meet with the ODA, but we need a binding commitment that leads to results. Dentists have been subsidizing Ontario’s dental programs by as much as $150 million every year for over a decade.
All five dental programs are badly underfunded. Research shows when programs like this are properly funded, more people eligible for treatment can get the care they need. The ODA is asking for the province to make an immediate commitment to children from low-income families and to adults and seniors on low incomes, people with disabilities, and those with complex medical conditions.
The ODA has been Ontario’s primary source for dental information since 1867 and represents over 10,000, or 90 per cent, of dentists in the province. For more information, go to www.oda.ca.