Ontario Expanding Seniors Dental Care ProgramPublished on September 01, 2020
Province Investing in New, Renovated, and Mobile Dental Clinics
The government is providing $25 million to expand access to the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program. The funding will be used to support 78 infrastructure projects across the province, including building new dental clinics and renovating existing facilities. The province is also adding eight new mobile dental clinics that will bring services directly to clients, making it easier for vulnerable seniors to access the dental care they need.
The announcement was made today by the Premier of Ontario, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health (Ontario), and the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility (Ontario) respectiveley.
"Our government made a promise to Ontario's low-income seniors that we would provide them with free, routine dental care ― and we are keeping that promise," the Premier said at the start of the announcement. "As part of the next phase of the program, we are enhancing our commitment, which includes more mobile dental clinics. We are bringing critical dental care right to the doorstep of our seniors and allowing for better treatment in underserviced areas."
The funding will be used to build new dental clinics and make upgrades and expansions to existing clinics at public health units, participating community health centres and Aboriginal Health Access Centres. These projects are expected to be completed by March 31, 2021.
The distribution is as follows:
50 projects will receive $11.6 million to support existing clinics with upgrades and expansions;
28 projects will receive $13.3 million to build new clinics that will help provide dental services in underserviced areas, which includes eight new mobile dental clinics.
"Our government is investing in dental infrastructure projects across Ontario to ensure low-income seniors will have better and faster access to the services they need, no matter where they live," the Deputy Premier and Minister of Health added in conjunction to the Premier's introductory remarks. "The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program is a key part of our plan to end hallway health care by providing seniors with access to quality dental care and keeping them out of hospitals."
The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program will reduce unnecessary trips to the hospital and help to eliminate hallway health care, prevent chronic disease and improve the quality of life and overall well-being for eligible seniors.
"Our government is committed to making sure our seniors stay safe and healthy," The Minister for Seniors and Accessibility retorted. "Expanding the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program and offering mobile services will make it easier for those who have difficulty getting out of their home, or for those living in rural or remote parts of the province, to access the care they need."
Eligible seniors can apply to the program online, or by picking up an application form at a local public health unit.
Ontario is investing approximately $90 million annually in the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program
The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program provides free routine dental care for eligible low-income seniors across the province who do not have dental benefits. 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 will qualify for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program.
Once fully implemented, the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program will serve approximately 100,000 low-income seniors annually.
Two-thirds of low-income seniors do not have access to dental insurance.