Health Canada doesn’t know if its dental programs benefiting Indigenous Canadians: report – CBC

Inuit and First Nations people have nearly twice as much dental disease as other Canadians

November 22, 2017

Health Canada does not know whether its dental programming for Indigenous Canadians is actually improving their oral health.

That’s one of the findings of the auditor general of Canada’s fall 2017 report, released on Tuesday.

Michael Ferguson said First Nations and Inuit populations have nearly twice as much dental disease as other Canadians.

Ferguson’s audit sought to determine whether Health Canada had “reasonable assurance” that its oral health programs for Indigenous people were having a positive effect on their oral health.

“We found that Health Canada had known for many years that the oral health of First Nations and Inuit populations was much poorer than that of other Canadians,” Ferguson’s report says.

“However, the department had not finalized a strategic approach to help reduce those differences.”

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