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Board Meeting Notes September 19, 2012

Sep 24, 2012
Urgent dental care support needed for low-income adults: health unit; Tanning regulation praised; Public health inspectors recognized

Urgent dental care support needed for low-income adults: health unit

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is calling for some major changes to improve dental health in the province.

Dr. Arlene King’s report, Oral Health – More Than Just Cavities, presented this week to the Simcoe Muskoka District Board of Health, recommends some sweeping reviews of how dental care is provided in Ontario as well as a review of the policies that govern how fluoridated water is provided to the public.

The board responded to the report with a recommendation of its own: to see the province extend its dental programs to include adults who cannot afford emergency dental treatment.

“Some areas have attempted to provide treatment for some situations for adults. But there is no province-wide program that can provide adults with emergency dental care,” Dr. Dick Ito, dental consultant for the health unit, told the board.

Tanning regulation praised

Premier Dalton McGuinty will be getting a letter from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit praising his support for a ban on the use of tanning beds by anyone under the age of 18.

McGuinty announced earlier this month that he would support a private member’s bill that proposes prohibiting the sale or supply of tanning services to people under 18. This would be Ontario’s first legislative restriction against artificial tanning, which has been identified as a source of skin cancer.

Christine Bushey, the manager of chronic disease prevention programming for the health unit, said many organizations have been calling on controls of tanning beds for years.

“The World Health Organization has declared the ultraviolet radiation emitted from tanning beds as a Class 1 carcinogen,” Bushey said. “It has been shown to increase the risk of melanoma – the most deadly form of skin cancer – by 75 to 86 per cent.”

Public health inspectors recognized

September 23 to 29 is Environmental Public Health Week in Canada, and the Simcoe Muskoka District Board of Health this week recognized the work and skills of more than 40 public health inspectors who work at the health unit.

The recognition is timely, as it came during the same week as the national conference of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors. Roughly 300 inspectors from all over Canada attended the event, which was co-hosted by the Simcoe Muskoka and Grey Bruce health units. The theme for both the awareness week and the conference was “Healthy Places, Healthy People.”


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