Welland senior suffering from debilitating arthritis of the jaw denied dental treatment under Wynne government: NDP
QUEEN’S PARK – During question period Tuesday, Cindy Forster, NDP MPP for Welland, called on the Wynne government to make sure low-income seniors have access to necessary dental care after being contacted by a 68-year-old low-income constituent who lost over 30 pounds because she can’t access the oral care she needs.
“Lisa is a low income senior in my riding. Over the last year, Lisa has lost over 30 pounds because she can’t be treated for TMJ - severe arthritis of the jaw. Her jaw locks, gets stuck and the pain is so overwhelming she’s unable to eat. Worse, when she went to her doctor last fall, she was told the oral service needed to fix it isn’t covered by OHIP,” Forster said.
MPP Forster explained that cases like Lisa’s are widespread. Two out of three seniors in Ontario live without dental coverage. Those on low incomes are most vulnerable and continue to be let down by Kathleen Wynne and her government.
“People like Lisa shouldn’t be forced to choose between getting the dental care they need or paying for hydro, rent and food,” said Forster.
This past weekend, Ontario New Democrats announced a comprehensive dental care plan that will publicly fund dental coverage for millions of people, including those on social assistance and seniors who don’t have retirement benefits. For all employed people – including part-time workers, contractors, freelancers and people working in non-traditional settings – Horwath’s plan will create a minimum standard for dental plans that will apply to all employers. Businesses will be able to meet the standard by participating in the new publicly administered Ontario Benefits, or choosing a comparable workplace benefits plan.
The NDP plan will mean 4.5 million Ontarians that have no coverage now will have dental benefits.
“No senior should have to live in pain because they can’t afford dental care. Nor should they live with worries about cracking a tooth, knowing they can’t afford to fix it.”
“Why, after 15 years in office, has this Liberal government left the vast majority of seniors without dental care?” asked Forster.
Media Contact: Eiman Zarrug 416-325-7106