The omission of dental coverage from our universal health-care system is both a pressing public health concern and a social justice issue.
Poor dental health is linked to serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetic complications, and premature birth.
And numbers cannot quantify the pain, social impacts and economic losses suffered by those with untreated dental problems.
Yet 32 per cent of Canadians have no dental insurance at all, and six million Canadians avoid visiting the dentist every year due to cost. Unsurprisingly, this hurts poor and marginalized Canadians the most.
It seems plainly deficient to have a public health system that provides care for every part of our bodies except the mouth. Access to medically necessary dental care should be a right in this country, not a privilege.
It’s time to roll up our sleeves and begin the work necessary to make this overdue health care service a reality for all Canadians.
Don Davies, MP Vancouver Kingsway