Canada: „no ” to free dental care
Parliament in Ottawa has rejected a proposal to guarantee free dental care for those citizens whose annual income does not exceed 90,000 Canadian dollars. According to estimates, 6.7 million people, or about 17% of Canada's population, are in this situation. Only 36 parliamentarians voted in favor of the New Democratic Party (NDP) proposal, 285 voted against it.
– Canadians across the country are struggling to visit the dentist. They need the government to stand up for them, instead of making excuses and refusing help – New Democrat Party leader Jagmeet Singh said.
The main forces in parliament are voicing opposition
Representatives of the three largest parties in the Parliament of the Federation of Canada: the Liberals, the Conservatives and representatives of the Bloc of Quebec rejected the NDP's proposal, despite the fact that, according to the applicants, one in five Canadians forgo dental visits because they cannot afford them. Representatives of the New Democrats further reported that many people across the country go to the dentist only when they experience severe pain – when a visit can no longer be avoided.
The New Democrats' allegations also concern the distribution of funds in the state budget. – Last year, the Liberal government gave billions of dollars in subsidies to large corporations and refused to impose a wealth tax on the ultra-rich to make sure they pay their taxes honestly. But when it comes time to help seniors, students and single mothers get the dental care they deserve, the liberal answer is „no” – Singh said.
– It would be hard to find a more glaring example than this one, that the Liberal government is more interested in helping the wealthiest citizens than ordinary Canadians. The New Democrats will continue to fight for residents to get access to the health care they need – continued the NDP leader.
Liberals: „we know too little”
– While I have spoken to some people who indicate that there are problems with citizens' access to a dentist, the data is limited, often outdated, and not equally available for the entire country. We do not have full, comprehensive information on unmet dental care needs at the national level, nor do we have a full understanding of the needs of different groups of citizens. That's why our government has pledged to support a parliamentary inquiry into the matter – Francis Drouin, a parliamentarian from the ruling Liberal Party, said.
– Health care is a joint responsibility of the province and the federal government. The Supreme Court has made it very clear. The government has had an opportunity to show real leadership by working with us to improve citizens' health and quality of life. Instead, he claims that he simply hasn't collected enough data on the current situation in this area – Said Jack Harris of the New Democratic Party, who was presenting the motion in parliament.
– There are reports of more than $1 billion lost due to untreated oral health problems. It is Canadians who are paying the price for the lack of government leadership – added Jack Harris.
According to the independent Office of the Parliamentary Budget Advocate, the New Democratic Party's proposal, which was rejected on a voice vote, would have burdened the national budget with 1.5 billion Canadian dollars a year.
– Dental surgery procedures are particularly stressful for patients, and this tension is transferred to the operators – says about the cooperation between the dentist and the assistant prof. dr hab. n. med. Natalia Lewkowicz, periodontist.