The provincial government has approved $244,000 to build a third dental operatory at the Community Health Centres of Northumberland, the executive director of the health centre said Tuesday.
It’s part of the provincial government’s Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP), which is meant to provide free dental care for low-income seniors across the province. The program was announced back in April as part of the 2019 Ontario Budget.
“We know that good dental health reduces the need for more costly medical services,” said Duff Sprague, executive director for Community Health Centres of Northumberland.
“We are excited to be partners in delivering dental care to eligible seniors covered under the new Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program.”
The dental care program will be available in Northumberland-Peterborough South through public health units, including some mobile dental clinics, as well as participating Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHACs). This includes the Port Hope Community Health Centre, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit and the Peterborough Public Health Unit.
Low-income seniors are eligible to receive the free services under certain conditions:
- Seniors have to be 65 years of age or older
- Seniors have to be residents of Ontario
- Seniors have to meet the income requirements:
- an annual net income of $19,300 or less for a single senior
- a combined annual net income of $32,300 or less for a couple
- Seniors should have no other form of dental benefits, including private insurance or dental coverage under another government program such as Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program or Non-Insured Health Benefits
Once the seniors’ application is approved, they can start receiving the free dental-care right away, a spokesperson for Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini said Tuesday.