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Canada Dental Benefit-Battle Brewing or Agreement Coming?

While the federal government’s plan to introduce public dental care is not officially back on the agenda, a few early clues dropped this week that preview the interesting year that is to come:

  • Canadian hygienists made a few early moves this week to define the public dental care debate. In a sponsored piece in the Globe and Mail, the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association celebrated the federal government’s Canada Dental Benefit and sought to highlight their importance in the upcoming dental care consultations. Meanwhile, a group of hygienists published a pointed article in one of Canada’s leading policy journals, highlighting the importance of preventative care for kids in the context of the new dental care programs.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet went on a big retreat this week, planning out this year’s political strategy. Affordability, jobs, and the ongoing health care funding negotiations with the provinces all loomed large on the publicized agenda - with notably zero mention of dental care. Interesting...

  • The PM has announced that he’s meeting the Premiers on February 7th about healthcare. Sources say the feds and provinces are trending towards both a national deal, and provincial side-agreements, to resolve ongoing disputes about funding and existing strains on the system. Absent from federal and provincial leaks is any mention of the federal dental care plan, which has previously been a very sore spot for Premiers. Battle brewing or an agreement coming?

Frictions emerging on dental care deal. The public dental care plan came into existence as a condition of the no-election deal between the PM and New Democratic Leader Jagmeet Singh, who pushed for its inclusion. Well, there may be trouble in paradise over the dental-dependent deal as Singh this week threatened to potentially disrupt the quasi-alliance over a new pharmacare program and the PM’s perceived openness to private players taking a bigger role in health care. Stay tuned....


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