Dr. David Swann calls for action on dental fees

CALGARY, AB (June 23, 2016): Dr. David Swann is calling on the Minister of Health to take action on Alberta’s expensive dental fees.

“Alberta suffers from the most expensive dental fees in the country, which excludes many families from both preventative and treatment services,” said Dr. Swann. “This results in avoidable visits to the emergency room and expensive surgical procedures, which put needless strain on our health system and add to wait times for all services.

“It is time for the Government of Alberta to take action to properly support dental services for middle and low-income families as a matter of public health,” Dr. Swann added. “Public health dental services also have been eroded in the past 15 years and are being overwhelmed, despite dedicated front-line professionals, by growing demand. Access to routine treatment services and dental health education, which are crucial in preventing more serious issues downstream, must be improved.

“The government must also take the lead in fostering change within the Alberta Dental Association and College, which at present is a barrier to improved competition, access, and accountability for Albertans.

“I have written to call on the Minister to intervene on this issue to defend the public interest,” Dr. Swann concluded. “Dental health is an important part of overall health, and Albertans deserve a system that values their needs over any other considerations.”