Steve Clark welcomes new dental care for low-income seniors

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The Government of Ontario launched the new Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP) on November 20, part of its comprehensive plan to end hallway health care by investing in programs that keep seniors healthy in their communities longer, said Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark.

“I’m proud that our government is keeping the commitment we made to deliver this dental program to support low-income seniors here in Leeds and Grenville and across Ontario,” said Steve. “This is going to help the lower-income seniors I represent who face challenges affording access to regular dental care, which impacts their overall health and wellbeing.”

Each year in Ontario, preventable dental issues like gum disease, infections and chronic pain lead to more than 60,000 emergency department visits by patients, of which a significant portion are seniors. This is why the government is investing approximately $90 million annually for the new OSDCP, which will provide free routine dental care for eligible low-income seniors.

In doing so, the government expects to reduce the number of dental-related emergency department visits, helping to end hallway health care.

Eligible seniors can apply to the program online as of today at ontario.ca/SeniorsDental, or by picking up an application form at a local public health unit.

“With this program, we are making sure Ontario’s low-income seniors can age with dignity and enjoy the quality of life they deserve,” said Premier Doug Ford. “This is another concrete way our government is delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care and cut hospital wait times.”

“By providing seniors with access to quality dental care and keeping them out of hospitals, this new program is a key part of our plan to end hallway health care,” said Minister of Health Christine Elliott. “Ontario is building a connected system of care that supports all Ontarians throughout their health care journey.”

“The well-being of all Ontario’s seniors is a top priority for this government,” said Minister of Seniors and Accessibility Raymond Cho. “This new dental care program will help eligible seniors receive the quality dental care they deserve. By keeping seniors healthy, we can also help seniors avoid emergency visits to the hospital, prevent chronic diseases and increase quality of life for seniors.”

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, will qualify for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program.

It is estimated that 100,000 low-income seniors will benefit annually from this program once fully implemented. Two-thirds of low-income seniors do not have access to dental insurance.

The new dental care program will be available through public health units, including some mobile dental clinics, as well as participating Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHACs). To find out more call: Toll-Free 1-833-207-4435; TTY 1-800-855-0511. See the website at: ontario.ca/SeniorsDental

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