Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan
2019 Provincial Election Platform Policy
An Alberta Party government will support children’s dental health by adding new health care coverage for dental check-ups and working with municipalities to put fluoride in drinking water.
“Every child in Alberta deserves basic dental health. By covering annual dental check-ups, we’ll make it easier for Alberta families to take their kids to the dentist during those crucial early years. It’s another way that the Alberta Party will put Alberta’s children first.”
Stephen Mandel also said an Alberta Party government will place a greater focus on the prevention side of health, including the fluoridation of municipal drinking water.
“It’s been shown that putting fluoride in water is a safe and effective strategy for preventing tooth decay, so we want to see this done. We will work with municipalities to help them do this in a way that makes sense for their communities. Under an Alberta Party government you’ll see the province putting more support into the prevention side of things.”
New Dental Coverage for Alberta Families
- Coverage under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan will expand to include an annual dental check-up, up to and including age 12 and two dental x-rays at age 10.
- To be covered the dental services must be delivered within Alberta.
- The program will improve the health of 650,000 Albertan children under the age of 12. Hundreds of thousands of families will save money and the stress of paying for dental fees.
- Dental benefits currently provided to lower-income families under the Alberta Child Health Benefit will continue.
- The program is expected to cost approximately $48 million per year.
Fluoridation of Water
- An Alberta Party government will expect that municipalities with a population greater than 10,000 take steps to ensure fluoridated water reaches children in their jurisdictions. An Alberta Party government will work in collaboration with municipalities to implement solutions that make sense for each community.
- The Alberta Party will allocate $30 million to help support municipalities in implementing fluoridated water solutions.
- Alberta Health states that “every $1 spent on community water fluoridation can save up to $93 per person in dental treatment costs.” Fluoridation of water ultimately saves money.
- Both Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services recognize community water fluoridation effectively prevents tooth decay, especially among the vulnerable.
- University of Calgary researcher, Lindsay McLaren’s 2016 study in the journal of the Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology compared grade 2 students in Calgary and Edmonton. The study found children in Calgary saw a higher level of tooth decay than those in Edmonton, after Calgary stopped putting fluoride in its municipal drinking water. The study concluded fluoridation of water has an impact on improving kids’ dental health.