The Budget: Increased Access to Oral Healthcare
The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA), representing more than 20,000 dental hygienists working across the country, welcomes the federal budget tabled in the House of Commons on April 7. The federal budget includes funding of $5.3 billion over five years, starting in 2022—2023, and $1.7 billion ongoing, to Health Canada to provide dental care for Canadians. The federal government’s plan starts with under-12-year-olds in 2022, and then expands to under-18-year-olds, seniors, and persons living with a disability in 2023, with full implementation by 2025.
While further details are yet to be confirmed, it is paramount that dental hygienists be recognized as eligible oral health care service providers in the program’s final design. In most provinces, legislation allows dental hygienists to practise independently, providing dental hygiene care without a dentist.
Ondina Love, CAE