Information posted June 30, 2012
Postcard Campaign Highlights Gap in Support For Adults With Severe Dental Problems
While most postcards depict scenic vacation getaway spots, a new ‘dental’ postcard above shows how oral care for some Ontario adults is far from picture-perfect.
The postcard is part of a province-wide advocacy campaign being launched by the Ontario Oral Health Alliance. The alliance is an umbrella organization formed in 2007 to unite the voices of those in Ontario who lobby and advocate for better access to oral health. CARP Halton Chapter encourages members to sign the postcards, which are addressed to their local Member of Provincial Parliament.
The campaign’s postcard features photos of five ‘real’ Ontarians with severe dental problems smiling through gritted teeth. A caption below the pictures reads: ‘Why am I living with pain and infection?’ On the back of the postcard, the Oral Health Alliance notes that thousands of Ontario adults suffer with pain and infection from poor oral health because they cannot afford to get regular dental treatment. People are urged to sign the postcards to lobby the Province to expand financial-support programs to include adults who cannot afford basic dental treatment.
“There is no financial support for adults with severe dental pain and infection, meaning people suffer in silence,” says Anna Rusak, Ontario Oral Health Alliance representative. “This glaring omission needs to be fixed, especially when we know oral health can affect a person’s overall health.”
The Ontario Oral Health Alliance estimates one in three Ontarians cannot afford to get regular dental treatment. High costs and lack of dental insurance are some of the main barriers. In 2008, the provincial government committed to develop a program to pay dental costs for low-income families. Financial-assistance programs were created or expanded, but only cover dental treatment for low-income children – not adults.
What’s the Issue?
Thousands of adults in Ontario cannot afford dental care. They experience pain and infection and have nowhere to turn but the emergency room of their local hospital.
In 2008 Premier McGuinty committed to develop a dental program for all low income families. Since then we have new dental programs for low income children – but still no programs for low income adults.
How You Can Help
Help support this campaign by sending a postcard to your MPP, talking about this health problem at community meetings, and raising the issue with your local media
The Ontario Oral Health Alliance (OOHA) wants to see a system that allows for equitable dental care for all Ontarians. We want to raise public awareness about this urgent health problem, and build support for the Ontario government to extend provincial programs to include adults who cannot afford emergency dental services.
What’s the OOHA Postcard Campaign? The following is a copy that you can print, hold your cursor over the image below and right click for print options, and forward to your MPP.
We want to get as many postcards as possible signed and collected in each provincial riding by September 2012.
In the Fall of 2012 OOHA partners will each meet with their local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) to deliver the signed postcards and ask them to support this campaign.