Responses to Key Issues - 2021

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Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance for the 2022 Federal Budget

CDHA once again participated in the pre-budget consultation process by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. In response to the consultation on spending priorities with respect to the next federal budget, CDHA’s written submission addressed priorities for national oral health funding, the inclusion of oral health in the development of national standards for Canada’s long-term care homes and the expansion of student loan forgiveness for dental hygienists. Read CDHA’s full 2021 pre-budget submission here.

2021 Federal Budget

The federal government tabled its budget on April 19. A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience—the first federal budget since 2019—includes more than $101 billion in new investments over the next three years. CDHA is particularly pleased that the budget proposes to provide $3 billion over five years, starting in 2022–2023, to Health Canada to support provinces and territories in ensuring standards for long-term care are applied and permanent changes are made. CDHA is keeping an eye on key announcements from the federal budget and what they mean for the access to oral health services and the profession. Our debrief of the most important highlights is available here.

National standards for long-term care: addressing oral health for overall health

CDHA welcomes a national discussion of priorities and opportunities to do better for people living in long-term care homes across Canada. When it comes to national standards for providing safe, reliable, and high-quality care in long-term care homes across our country, meeting the oral health care needs of residents is an important prerequisite.

Health Standards Organization (HSO) leading work on national long-term care services standard beginning in June 2021

The Health Standards Organization (HSO) is a standards development organization dedicated to health and social services. HSO is co-developing new standards for the delivery of safe, reliable, and high-quality long-term care (LTC) services, as well as for the operation and infection prevention and control practices of LTC homes.

CDHA encourages all dental hygienists who work in LTC or who are caregivers to those living in LTC homes, to participate in HSO’s engagement opportunities and contribute to development of the standard.

Click here to read national survey findings released in October. It’s good news to see that respondents identified that oral hygienists should be included in interprofessional care teams alongside other professionals (page 15).

When the HSO releases the draft standard for public review in early 2022, collective dental hygiene voices will be critical for informing the finalization of the standard next fall. Watch for more details when announced

Policy paper on universal oral health care under development

CDHA has commissioned a white paper to inform public policy discussions on the creation of a universal oral health care system in Canada. This paper will examine the evidence, including prevention-based imperatives, for investing in a national, publicly funded oral health care system, with an emphasis on strategies to improve access to care for seniors and the working poor. The policy paper is part of CDHA’s ongoing efforts to ensure that preventive oral health care is available to all residents of Canada. It should be completed before the end of the year.

Calling for better health workforce data in Canada

In an effort spearheaded by the Canadian Health Workforce Network, CDHA has joined a growing group of national associations, educators, researchers and others in calling on the Government of Canada to support health workers by investing in data infrastructure that provinces, territories, regions and training programs need to better plan for and support the health workforce. Improved health system planning through better health workforce data can make a world of difference for health workers and the Canadian public. The Canadian Health Workforce Network is a knowledge exchange network of researchers, decision-makers and other knowledge users interested in health workforce planning, policy and management. For more information about call to action: https://www.hhr-rhs.ca/en/petition.html