When will I be eligible for dental care in Canada?
Canada’s dental program is undergoing a major overhaul as the federal government attempts to improve the efficiency and access of its programs, and expand coverage to cover more people.
The country’s government has announced plans to phase out the private-sector dental plan, and to require private-care dentists to offer free dental care to all Canadians.
The announcement came as the health minister, Rona Ambrose, unveiled her plan to overhaul the country’s dental health care.
She said the government would phase out private dental insurance in 2019 and allow private dentists across the country to offer dental care for free.
Ms. Ambrose also announced the province would get a one-time rebate of up to $25,000 for patients with Medicare.
The move was met with cheers from some doctors, who have long complained that the private sector is not delivering the dental care they want.
Dr. David McWilliams, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia and a former president of the Canadian Association of Dental Surgeons, said he was pleased with the news.
“It’s good to see the government is listening to the physicians and taking their concerns seriously,” Dr. McWilliams said in an email.
But Dr. John Binder, the director of the Centre for Health Policy at the Université du Québec à Montréal, said the new plan was a “significant departure from the existing system and would not be able to meet our dental needs.”
The move comes just months after the federal Liberals pledged to scrap the private dental plan in favour of a national system.
The plan would be rolled out in 2019, but only if it meets health minister Jane Philpott’s initial target of providing coverage to every Canadian by 2024.
Under the plan, dentists would no longer have to charge a fee, and the government said dentists who offer services would be able charge for services, such as cleaning and brushing.
The dental plan would also require dentists in private hospitals to accept a patient’s claim for free, as well as the government’s $10-a-day premium for private health insurance.
It is expected that the government will seek a further boost in enrolments by introducing a tax credit of up at least $10,000 per family to cover private dental costs.
In an interview, Ms. Philpot said that while the government was focused on ensuring universal access to health care, it was also committed to the private health system, which it said would offer a better value to patients.
On Tuesday, she told the House of Commons that the goal was to make it easier for Canadians to get the care they need.
At the time, she said, “I am absolutely clear that we will be looking at how we can make sure we are not undermining the health of our health care system, and we will work with our partners in the private and public sectors to find the best solution.”