Dental care through a universal public system was promised as part of a mutual agreement between the federal NDP and Liberal parties with MP Taylor Bachrach Skeena Bulkley ensuring fair and equitable access to rural and remote communities.
“This is the most significant improvement to our universal healthcare system in a generation,” Bachrach said.
As part of the agreement, Delivering for Canadians Now: A Supply and Confidence Agreement (DFC), the two parties announced that funded dental care for low-income Canadians will be phased in for all households earning less than 90,000 $.
The first stage of implementation will begin this year with children 12 and under, followed by youth under 18, seniors and people living with disabilities in 2023. They said the coverage program dental care will be fully implemented by 2025.
The DFC agreement will be in effect until June 2025, protecting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government from remaining in power until then, and allowing for the tabling of four budgets by the federal government during that period.
“To ensure the coordination of this arrangement, both parties are committed to the guiding principle of no surprises,” the Liberals said.
The arrangement also includes a plan to “continue progress toward a universal national pharmacare program by passing Canadian pharmacare legislation by the end of 2023,” the two parties said. If the law is implemented, it will create a national formulary – a list of prescription drugs covered by the potential system.
The MP said it marked the completion of NDP founder Tommy Douglas’ project for universal medical coverage for all Canadians.
“One of the things I’ll be keeping an eye on, in particular, is rolling out this program to rural parts of Canada. Much of the Skeena-Bulkley Valley is made up of rural and remote communities, and people need to be assured of an equitable level of access to the program,” Bachrach said. The view from the north. “I will strongly advocate for the voters of our region.”
The federal government will provide universal dental care while pharmacare will be funded the same way provinces and the federal government currently share health care costs.
While Bachrach said the government has a “very good track record” on how to implement the two programs, the structure is still being ironed out.
“I would like us to have all the details. At this stage we have some elements of the general framework which are defined in the agreement, but there are many things to be ironed out,” he said.
Bachrach said residents can expect something similar to a doctor’s appointment at the dentist where you bring your healthcare card rather than your credit card.
The MP also said he hopes to make the new programs available to all Canadians at the same time.
With the new and expanded accessibility of dental care, the demand is expected to increase and the need for doctors to meet it, he said.
“Ensuring that there are enough health professionals in rural areas can be a real challenge for some communities. So that’s going to be a part of the discussion absolutely. I’m going to be a strong advocate for putting programs in place to ensure that people have access to these professionals,” he said.
Normand Galimski | Journalist
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