It is a well-known fact that the Canadian healthcare system implements a government funded single payer system wherein the government is the single payer and the dissemination of medical services is carried out by a mix of private and government supported practitioners all over the country.
The tax supported single payer covers most of the costs including doctors’ fees, medical supplies, medicines and hospital care for most procedures.
The actual process of healthcare planning and delivery is the responsibility of individual provinces. However, dental care is not fully covered under this single payer system.
An Overview of Canada Dental Practices
For these kinds of procedures, the funding comes from private insurance and out of pocket payments. The tax supported funding provides for about 70% of all Canadian healthcare, while the rest 30% such as dental care, non-surgical eye care, etc. is supported by private insurance or out of pocket spending.
The modern Canadian healthcare system, which gradually took shape after the Second World War, is significantly decentralised, as is evident by the fact that the provincial governments control the government expenditure on healthcare.
Even though most of the funding for Canada dental practices is not supported by taxpayers’ money, there are some groups for whom dental care is funded by government expenditure. Some examples are:
- People employed in the military and veterans
- Indigenous peoples
- Recipients of social assistance and their dependents
- People with disability
- Federal prisoners
For others, some provincial and regional government provide some oral health programs. These programs are supported by government expenditure and are disseminated by professionals such as dental hygienists and therapists. Some of the services delivered under these programs include:
- Procedures involving surgery which are necessary due to any congenital condition
- Oral health services for low-income families
- Oral health services for provincial prison inmates
There are many good quality dental clinics, like My Image Dental in Stockton CA in Canada but the proportion of people receiving government funded for Canada dental practices is quite small.
This is evidenced by the fact that in 2014, government expenditure in dental care accounted for only 5% of the total expenditure in this sector.
This essentially leaves almost 95% of the public to their own devices in terms of dental health care and oral hygiene services.
Of those whose dental care or oral hygiene needs are not met by any government funded programs have to rely on private expenditure.
About 55% of all the private expenditure is covered by private health insurance and the rest 45% is borne by out of pocket payments.
Hence, the private health insurance industry is more significant in terms of dental health care, since government expenditure in this area is limited.
Looming Problems for Canada Dental Practices
This makes the problems surrounding private insurance elsewhere, such as high costs more of a concern for dental health care practice in Canada as well.
As of statistics of 2013, 32% of all Canadians surveyed had no private insurance coverage for any dental health care.
Another indication of the problem is that 17% of Canadians avoided visiting a dentist and 16% decided to forego the full range of recommended treatment.