For Immediate Release
25 April, 2023
NDP Leader and MHA for St. John’s Centre, Jim Dinn, says the provincial government must act and not leave seniors in pain unable to access dental care while they wait for the NDP-led federal dental coverage to take effect later this year. Dinn has repeatedly implored the Minister to show compassion for a constituent unable to eat properly or sleep due to dental pain. Today Dinn presented another letter to the Minister in the House of Assembly.
“Seniors like Ms. Nichols are suffering in pain waiting for the federal dental program to expand to include seniors. When that happens, I expect we’ll see an influx of appointment requests. Seniors will have to wait longer still to access the dental care they need to live a fulsome life, the ability to eat properly, and live with dignity free of pain,” Dinn said.
“I have asked the Minister to intervene in Ms. Nichol’s case and I am prepared to go that route again. But my question really is – why do we live in a province where a person can be in agonizing pain for months, and it takes intervention from a Minister of the Crown to get her some relief?”
In 2016 the Adult Dental Program was cut, and in 2022-2023 the Department of Health and Community Services left over two million dollars unspent in their budget. Many seniors are in similar situations to Ms. Nichols. They are being denied dental care due to provincial policies that leave them without access, and there are no alternatives or supports to alleviate their suffering.
“Policies can be changed. Change must start now. All that is required is the political will to do so. I ask that the government ensure easy, affordable access to dental care for low income seniors until the federal dental program expands this fall,” said Dinn.
A copy of the letter submitted to the Minister is attached.
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or firstname.lastname@example.org