|TEMPLATE LETTER FOR YOU TO MODIFY YOUR ADDRESS
Hon. Eric Hoskins,
Minister of Health and Long Term Care
10th Floor, Hepburn Block
80 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2C4
Re: Expanding Ontario’s public dental programs
Dear Minister Hoskins,
We are writing to bring to your attention the new report from the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences entitled “Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable People Living in Canada”.
Your government made an important committed in the 2014 budget to extend current public dental programs in Ontario to low income adults by 2025. Based on the findings of this blue-ribbon panel we are urging you to move faster and make public oral health programs for low income adults and seniors in Ontario a reality in your government’s current four year mandate.
This new report finds that 6 million Canadians cannot afford to visit a dentist. People with the highest level of oral health problems are also the people with the greatest difficulty getting the care they need: low income people; seniors living in institutions or on low income; Aboriginal people; people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees; and people in rural and remote communities.
As a physician, Dr Hoskins, you will know there is a direct link between poor oral health and poor general health. In our [name your Public Health Unit, CHC, AHAC, NPLC or CFHT] we see the impact of unequal access to dental care on people’s health and wellbeing. Vulnerable people who can’t afford to see a dentist or hygienist often cannot eat properly, they have gum disease, and they are at higher risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
[ADD A LOCAL EXAMPLE OR STATISTIC ON THE PROBLEM FROM YOUR COMMUNITY]
The new report also finds that while private sector dentistry is providing good quality care for the majority of Canadians, it is not a good model to provide oral health care to the vulnerable groups who suffer the highest levels of oral health problems.
We urge you to respond to the findings of this significant report by working with Public Health Units, Community Health Centres, Aboriginal Health Access Centres and other community health providers to broaden Ontario’s restricted public dental programs so they provide essential care to people most in need in our province. As a physician who is well known for your commitment to public health and social justice we call on you to invest in expanding public oral health programs for low income adults and seniors during your government’s current four year mandate.
[YOUR NAME, TITLE, ORGANIZATION, CONTACT EMAIL]
cc. Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon. Deb Matthews, MPP. Minister for Poverty Reduction email@example.com
France Gelinas, MPP. NDP Health Critic firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Elliott, MPP. PC Health Critic Christine.email@example.com