Dental clinics will be set up in Quebec to provide first-line prevention and preventive care to low-income people or people living in remote areas.
These will be implemented in five pilot projects, Saint-Anne-des-Montes, Gaspace, Gatino, Wall-des-Sources, Estre, as well as two clinics on the island of Montreal, the minister said Monday. Health and Social Services, Christian Dubey.
Quebec will inject $ 3 million into the first year. Clinics can serve approximately 22,000 people.
“Unfortunately, with the system we know, there are a lot of people who go and do not do without oral care. And it is up to us as a government to find a solution,” Mr Dubey told a news conference in Gaspai.
These pilot projects represent the first step with a focus on reducing inequalities in dental health and developing integration of dentistry into the health system. The second step is possible depending on the results observed. As a result, about 600,000 people will be able to benefit from dental services, or about 7% of Quebec’s population, we explained in a press release.
“There is also the possibility of expanding the range of services offered as well as eligible clients,” it continues.
No timetable specified for different phases.
Asked if the investment would profile the Legalt government’s commitment to expanding public coverage on dental care, Minister Dubey said it was about solving local problems.
“We want to work in areas with local problems. This is our policy. […] Here (in Gaspace), this is an attractive issue for dentists. This is not a particular remuneration issue, ”he said.
Currently in Quebec, public services in dentistry are provided to children under 9 years of age, residents of CHSLDs and beneficiaries of the Social Assistance Program.
Haute-Gaspésie lost his last dentist last August, said Saint-Anne-des-Montes Mayor Simon Deschenes.
“Staff retention, seduction policy will start working from tomorrow,” he said.
Personnel establishment, recruitment and remuneration are primarily the responsibility of CISSS and CIUSSS. At Haute-Gaspésie, CISSS acquires the recently retired dentist clinic and employs two dentists and two dental hygienists in particular, explained CEO Chantal Dugway.
Minister Dubey said the clinic would initially welcome traveling dentists arriving on a temporary basis and be able to operate after the staff is in place.
Ordre des dentistes du Québec (ODQ) considers this statement to be “the first step towards recognizing the importance of oral health care in all health care for Quebecars”.
“This statement is partly in response to a long-standing request from the Order to integrate a portion of dental medicine activities, especially preventive care, into the public health system, which will allow the establishment of a larger number of service corridors,” commented ODQ President, DR Guy LaFrance, in a press release.
He sees the investment as “a step forward” but said there was still “some way to give access to these services to a large number of Cubans”.
ODQ explains that these pilot projects came from an analysis conducted by the Ministry of Health on access to dental care in Quebec in 2019 and 2020.
The Foundation de l’Ordre des dentistes du Québec also sees this statement as “a step in the right direction” for the oral care provided to vulnerable people.
“We are particularly pleased with this important government commitment to help increase access to care that has a significant impact on the well-being of this population, whether from a physical, mental, professional or school level,” Director-General, Me. Isabelle Mayu, also through a press release.