For Immediate Release
January 18, 2021
ST. JOHN’S— Today, NDP Leader Alison Coffin announced that New Democrats will work to ensure seniors in Newfoundland and Labrador have the dental services they desperately need.
“Seniors can barely afford to stay in their homes because necessities like heat and food are so expensive. They just don’t have any more money to cover the cost of visiting a dentist or denturist. No one should be left suffering in terrible pain or risk getting an infection because they don’t have enough money,” said Coffin. “For years, Liberal and Conservative governments have made cuts to programs that provided dental care services to people who needed them. Our seniors deserve better.”
The Liberals made cuts to the Adult Dental Program in 2016 and now crucial services like extractions, fillings, and dentures are only available to seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement or living in long term care homes. The Liberals’ program also only covers seniors for certain procedures on a timeline decided by the government – not based on the individual’s health care needs.
“In 2019, the Liberals spent 2.2 million dollars on the Adult Dental Program to help 5,695 adults access dental services. They literally gave former Nalcor CEO, Ed Martin, more money than they spent to help adults in this province get the dental services they needed. It’s just not right,” said Coffin.
“If we want a different future, we have got to make different choices. New Democrats will prioritize the health of our seniors. We will revamp the program in consultation with denturists and dentists so that seniors can get the care they need, when they need it.”