Transportation Action Group Agenda and Minutes_26 Nov 2013

The Transportation Action Group held an initial meeting  of some Transportation Service Providers and South East Grey Community Health Centre representatives.

Key agenda items:

1. Examine coordinated services across Grey and Bruce Counties amongst service providers.

2. Draft support statement to MPP Bill Walker’s resolution calling for Committee to examine Public Transportation in Rural Ontario

The meeting examined existing services, potential areas for working together to create greater efficiency and identified who should be additionally invited to the table. See the full set of minutes:            Transportation Action Group_Minutes_26 Nov 2013

The group also generated some key recommendations that were incorporated into a letter to support to MPP Bill Walker’s motion. 

Bill Walker Resolution_support letter from BG Poverty Task Force



Ontario providing free dental care to more kids

Ontario providing free dental care to more kids

On December 16th the Ontario government announced plans to expand eligibility for free dental care to 70,000 more children and youth in low-income families, through the Healthy Smiles Ontario program.

Because the income eligibility criteria for Healthy Smiles Ontario has previously been set so low, oral health service providers have had to turn away many low income children in need of treatment.

Starting April 2014, the province will increase access to oral health services such as cleanings, diagnostic services and basic treatment by expanding eligibility for the Healthy Smiles Ontario program. The province will also streamline six existing dental programs into one starting in August of 2015, making it easier for families of eligible children and youth to access timely dental care.

The Association of Ontario Health Centres is calling on the government to extend public dental programs to low income adults as part of next steps. Statistics show that one in every five people in Ontario do not visit a dentist because they cannot afford it, and last year there were almost 58,000 visits to costly hospital emergency rooms for dental reasons.  But hospitals can provide only pain killers, not dental treatment so people return. This costly use of emergency rooms amounts to at least $30 million a year.