September 10, 2018 4:27 pm

$1M investment means expanded dental services for low-income Hamiltonians

An investment by Green Shield Canada, through the Hamilton Community Foundation, will increase access to the city's dental health bus.

City of Hamilton

The City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Community Foundation are partnering to improve the dental health of low-income residents.

The healthy and safe communities committee has voted to spend $1 million from the foundation, through Green Shield Canada, to expand access to oral health programs over the next three years.

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The enhancements include increasing service on Hamilton’s Dental Health Bus for another 350 clients each year, enhancing denture coverage for eligible seniors and a funding a “Smile With Confidence” pilot program for Ontario Works clients.

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Hamilton Community Foundation president Terry Cooke stresses that the spending is a result of their own partnership with Green Shield, which awarded $1 million each to Hamilton and five other Canadian cities to mark the company’s 60th anniversary.

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In a presentation to committee members, public health staff estimated that 185,000 Hamiltonians have no dental insurance and that 10 per cent of the city’s Grade 2 students require urgent care.

They also indicated that 80 per cent of high-income earners have dental insurance, compared to just 24 per cent of low-income seniors.

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