The Health Of The Canadian Health System

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Oral health is not considered an integral part of Canada 's universal, publicly-funded health care regime. Dental care, outside of a hospital setting, does not constitute a ‘medically necessary’ service for the purpose of maintaining health as per the Canada Health Act (1964). There are three components to the Canadian health system that exist today: universal, publicly-funded coverage for physician and hospital services (known as Medicare); goods and services such as home care, long-term care, and prescription drugs which are funded either privately (through insurance or out-of-pocket), or publicly (through targeted subsidies or direct delivery programs); and finally, private health care services which include dental care.1 Costs for…show more content…
in Finland, where up to 79 per cent of dental care is publicly-funded.3 A report issued by the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences states that six million Canadians per year avoid visiting a dental professional for cost reasons.2 While the private sector provides excellent quality of oral health care for its patients, many vulnerable groups have difficulty with access.2 It is also these vulnerable groups who demonstrate extremely high levels of oral health disease. According to a 2014 report issued by the Canadian Academy of Health Services (CAHS), the following represent Canada’s most vulnerable groups: individuals with low incomes; younger age children living in low-income families; individuals working without dental insurance; elderly populations with low incomes and/or living in institutions; aboriginal people, immigrants/refugees; people with disabilities; and, populations living in rural/remote communities.2 The CAHS authors report that increasingly and in light of challenging economic times, families from lower-middle income strata are also demonstrating difficulty with accessing oral health care (this is partially attributable to an increasing tendency toward part-time employment rather than full-time employment with benefits). Oral health has many
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