WINNIPEG – Earlier today, the Liberal government voted against an NDP motion that would provide dental coverage to millions of Canadians who cannot afford dental care. The NDP proposal would have allowed 6.7 million people in Canada whose household income is less than $90,000 a year to access the dental services they desperately need.
“Today, Liberals and Conservatives chose to deny Canadians affordable access to dental care, a critical piece of overall health that is far too out of reach for many families,” said NDP MP Leah Gazan (Winnipeg Centre). Oral health affects the entire body. All people in Canada deserve affordable access to dental care.”
Liberal and Conservative Members of Parliament refused to support the New Democrats’ attempt to deliver dental coverage even though one in five Canadians skip visits to the dentist because they can’t afford it.
Left untreated, poor dental hygiene is linked to many serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections and diabetic complications. Across Canada people are going to emergency rooms for dental pain, when what they really need is to see a dentist. The estimated cost of these visits across Canada is more than $150 million per year.
“The government’s choice not to help people who can’t afford dental services has serious health consequences. With equitable access to dental care, we can prevent health issues like infections and complications before they occur,” added Gazan. “It is time the government show leadership and expand this critical health service to those who need it most."