$1.5M announced for WECHU senior dental program
The program was announced as part of the 2019 Ontario budget
Seniors in Windsor-Essex can smile a little brighter — the Windsor Essex County Health Unit received notice from the government of Ontario of funding for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program.
"We have a good program with Healthy Smiles Ontario but this is slated for seniors," said WECHU CEO Theresa Marentette. "We're quite pleased about that."
Announced as part of the 2019 Ontario budget, seniors with incomes of less than $19,300 annually — or senior couples with combined annual incomes less than $32,300 — will be able to receive dental service from their public health unit.
"No senior in Ontario should go without quality dental care," said Christine Elliot, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care said when the program was announced in April.
The announcement said that in 2015, there were 61,000 emergency room visits for dental programs, costing the Ontario health care system about $31 million.
The new program specifically targets those over 65. Ontario residents under 17 will still be treated under the Healthy Smiles Ontario program if income requirements are met.
"We are looking forward to providing this service in our community," said Marentette. WECHU will receive $1.5 million for the program locally, but there is no word on when it will officially launch.
With files from Amy Dodge