Auditor general blasts Indigenous dental-services initiative – Winnipeg Free Press

November 23, 2017

Health Canada doesn’t track whether the $200 million it spends is helping

OTTAWA — The federal and provincial governments say they’re trying to boost dental care for First Nations kids after Manitoba dentists said children’s teeth are getting worse, and a federal watchdog revealed that Ottawa isn’t keeping track of the issue.

The federal government pays for dental care for most Inuit and status Indians through a program called non-insured health benefits, with Health Canada picking up the tab for services provinces don’t, such as mental health and prescriptions, in exchange for various land treaties.

The program aims to bridge gaps in Indigenous health compared with the overall population.

Research shows dental disease and decay are twice as prevalent among Indigenous Canadians compared with the rest of the population.

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