Local dentist points out gaps in new program for low-income seniors
Dr. Kim Hansen says the new Ontario Seniors’ Dental Care Program has shortcomings. (Supplied by drshohmelian, Pixabay.com)
Dr. Kim Hansen says there’s a lot of confusion about the new Ontario Seniors’ Dental Care Program. The Prescott dentist and President of the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) noted public Health Units have been tasked with administering the program.
Dr. Hansen explained rural areas will be served by a dental bus and seniors may have to travel long distances for treatment. He says the services that will be offered is unclear, given the limitations of a dental bus.
Dr. Hansen noted the biggest concern is making a senior not be able to see the dentist they’ve seen for maybe years and forcing them onto a bus. The program has many shortcomings, according to Dr. Hansen.
The program is open to Ontarians aged 65 and over with an income of $19,300 or less, or couples with a combined annual income of $32,300 or less, who do not have dental benefits.
He says the government didn’t consult the ODA before launching the program last week. Dr. Hansen explained the $90 million being funneled into the program annually won’t go very far if dollars are being spent on infrastructure.
He says the physical environment for administering treatment already exists in the form of dental offices. Dr. Hansen noted the money could be put to better use.
For more information about the program, click here.