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Monday, September 3, 2012

Help Plug Adult Dental Health Holes! Complete Your Postcard Today!

FAR FROM PICTURE PERFECT
- Residents Sign onto Postcard Campaign to Fill Gap in Dental Support Programs -
Local residents are being asked to sign 'dental' postcards addressed to their MPPs asking them to plug a hole in Ontario's health care system.

Several health and social agencies in the City of Kawartha Lakes are circulating the dental postcards that ask the Ontario government to provide coverage for adults who cannot afford to pay for basic dental treatment. Each postcard features photos of five 'real' Ontarians with severe dental problems smiling through gritted, rotten teeth. A caption below the photos reads: Why am I living with pain and infection?


In recent years, while the Province has created or expanded programs to pay for dental care and emergency treatment for low-income children, local agencies say there has been no similar help for adults.

"Adults who cannot afford to pay for care have to suffer in silence with severe dental pain and infection," says Anna Rusak, a local organizer of the dental postcard campaign, and a Health Promoter with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. "There is a gaping hole in our health care system when OHIP will pay for medical coverage for every other part of the body, except the mouth."

The Ontario Oral Health Alliance, which created the dental postcards, estimates one in three Ontarians cannot afford to get regular dental treatment. Costs and lack of dental insurance are the major barriers.

Rusak was joined by representatives from Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes at a news conference held today (August 22) in Lindsay to promote the postcard campaign in this area. Local residents can fill out the dental postcards until the end of September at the following locations:

  •   the Health Unit office ,108 Angeline St. S., Lindsay

  •   Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes office ,108 Angeline St. S.,  Lindsay

  •   City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team office , 55 Angeline St. N., Lindsay

  •   Kawartha North Family Health Team offices 50 Colborne St.,Fenelon Falls and --85 Bolton St. Bobcaygeon 

  •   Boys and Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes 107 Lindsay St. S.  Lindsay

People can also sign the postcards online at www.oaphd.on.ca, or call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 216, to find out more about the dental postcard campaign. Later this fall, all signed postcards from across Ontario will be presented to provincial politicians, including local MPP Laurie Scott.

Lindsay dentist, Dr. Indervir Mann, sees the need for improved access to dental care in Kawartha Lakes and encourages people to fill out the dental postcard. 

'Why should getting dental care require a credit card instead of an OHIP health card?,'Dr. Mann asks. 'Access to dental care should be a right, not a privilege, especially when we know that good oral health is important for a person's overall health.'

Dr. Mann works at the Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes' dental clinic, which provides dental care to families whose children qualify for government financial assistance. The dental clinic also provides services at reduced fees for individuals on fixed or low incomes who do not have dental insurance.

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