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Sask. dental providers and seniors raise concerns over federal dental care plan

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With the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) set to roll out on May 1, many dental care providers have concerns and unanswered questions about the plan.

Most providers across the country have not signed up for the program and this is leaving seniors wondering where they will get their coverage from.

“Everywhere I went, no we are not in it, no we are not in it,” said Dennis Lisoway when he tried to find a dentist a part of the plan.

Lisoway said he made tons of phone calls as well as visited many clinics in Regina.

“There was a few of them that explained, ‘No, we didn’t like the rate that they wanted to pay us, and no we didn’t like the plan.’”

Fortunately, he did find a provider enrolled in the plan.

Other concerns providers have include enrolment.

“There is a concern that this enrolment part and it’s not what happens on a normal dental plan. A patient has a relationship between the dentist and the patient and there is not a relationship between the dentist and the government,” said Dr. Heather Carr, past president of the Canadian Dental Association.

Providers are also worried how they will be paid for their services from the federal government.

“To my knowledge as of last week, enrolment numbers were quite low. It’s not that the dentists don’t want to care for the patients but it’s that we need to know exactly what we are agreeing to and how it’s going to impact our patients and our office staff,” added Carr.

“While the CDCP is an important step towards enhancing access to care for eligible Canadians and the elimination of sign up requirements is good news, our concerns and questions with the plan have not yet been fully addressed or answered,” said the College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan in a statement to CTV News.

More than 5,000 oral health providers have signed up and agreed to the program, according to the federal government.

Changes to the plan have been promised by the government, however, those changes will not take effect until July. 

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