May 17th, 2024

Dental-care double standard: hygienists ask for equal pay under federal plan

By The Canadian Press on April 15, 2024.

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association is calling out a double standard in how much the government plans to pay for their services under the new federal dental plan. Ondina Love, CEO of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association, right, and Sylvie Martel, Director of Dental Hygiene Practice, take questions during a news conference in Ottawa, Tuesday, April 4, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA – The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association is calling out the Liberal government for what it says is a double standard in the payment of services under a new federal plan.

Last week, Health Canada released the reimbursement guide for the new federal dental-care plan, which is expected to provide oral health coverage for millions of low- and middle-income families.

The guides show the federal government plans to pay significantly less for a cleaning that happens at a private hygiene clinic, as opposed to in a dentist’s office.

The association’s manager of professional practice, Donna Wells, says that in some provinces, there is more than a 20 per cent difference.

The association says it raised the issue with Health Canada weeks ago, and was surprised when the discrepancy persisted in the guides released last week.

Health Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment, though the minister has previously said the program will evolve with time.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2023.

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