MP Gord Johns has initiated a mail-out that asks constituents the date of their last visit to a dentist, and if they can afford to see a dentist as often as needed. The Courtenay–Alberni MP says the survey has generated the biggest response he’s received from people in his riding.
Pre-pandemic, Johns said one in five Canadians were skipping the dentist due to cost. “It’s worse now because millions of Canadians have lost their jobs, or they’ve lost their employment-sponsored benefits,” he said, noting 12 million Canadians do not have dental insurance. “Oral health diseases are some of the most preventable chronic diseases in Canada.”
The NDP is urging the federal government to support its proposal to provide dental coverage to those who cannot afford a visit to the dentist. The dental plan would benefit 6.7 million people whose household income is less than $90,000 a year.