By Cherise Seucharan Star Vancouver Wed., March 20, 2019
VANCOUVER—The province has increased funding to non-profit dental clinics providing free and low-cost dental care.
Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson announced a commitment of $3.6 million in funding over three years, which will be distributed by the British Columbia Dental Association to the province’s 24 dental clinics.
The funding is part of TogetherBC, the province’s first-ever poverty-reduction strategy, which was released on Monday.
“Poverty requires a multitude of solutions and too many people are denied opportunities because of physical, social, financial and structural barriers,” Simpson said at the Mid-Main Community Health Clinic on Wednesday. “Dental care can be one of those barriers.”
Simpson described how people experiencing poverty are sometimes “forced to sacrifice oral health for priorities like shelter.”
With this funding, the BC Dental Association will double the annual grant funding to $20,000 per year for each of the 24 not-for-profit dental clinics located across the province in cities such as Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops, Prince George and Salmon Arm.