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Board meeting notes November 20, 2013

Nov 26, 2013
Low income a barrier to good oral health: health unit Municipal fluoridation challenges in Simcoe Muskoka

Low income a barrier to good oral health: health unit

OHIP covers medical care to every part of the body except the mouth, leaving one out of four Ontario residents unable to pay for dental care.

That’s the message the Simcoe Muskoka District Board of Health is taking to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. In a resolution this week the board voted to urge the Ontario government to extend dental assistance programs to include adults who can’t afford emergency dental care, and to improve eligibility criteria for families whose children need coverage. Colleen Nisbet, the director of Clinical Service for the health unit, pointed out that the Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy, which began in 2009 with a dental fund of $45 million, was pared back to $34 million two years later. The province also cut the health unit’s budget for CINOT funding for 14- to 17-year-olds by close to $70,000. In spite of efforts to stay within that budget, increased demand and increased treatment costs has left the health unit with a $40,000 shortfall.

Municipal fluoridation challenges in Simcoe Muskoka  

A report submitted to the Simcoe Muskoka District Board of Health reveals that many hours and resources at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit have been redirected from other priorities to defend community water fluoridation. In spite of the time and effort, municipalities have opted to turn down fluoridation. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner pointed out that 13 American states and several Australian state governments have put community water fluoridation in place. The board directed staff to prepare a motion for the next meeting to call upon the provincial government to require municipal water fluoridation.    


Next Meeting

There will be no board of health meeting in December. The next meeting takes place Jan. 15
at 9:15 a.m. at 15 Sperling Drive, Barrie, ON.

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