May 20th, 2024

Health minister pitches dental-care changes to get dentists onside

By The Canadian Press on April 17, 2024.

Health Minister Mark Holland rises during Question Period on April 16, 2024 in Ottawa.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – Health Minister Mark Holland is announcing tweaks to Ottawa’s new dental-care plan in a bid to get more dentists, hygienists and oral-health care providers to participate.

Dental and hygienists associations say their members have been slow to sign up to provide care under the new federal program, even though 1.7 million low- and middle-income seniors have already enrolled.

They cite concerns about how much the government plans to reimburse them for services and the administrative burden the program will put on their staff.

The Liberals say 5,000 dental-care providers – including dentists, hygienists and denturists – have enrolled so far.

Holland says after further consultation, the government will now allow providers to direct bill for services on a claim-by-claim basis without signing on to the program.

Holland says he thinks the changes will vastly expand the number of dentists who will provide care to patients enrolled in the program.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2024.

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