Today at the Standing Committee on Health, PC MLAs Barbara Adams and Colton LeBlanc renewed the PC’s call to establish a Chief Dental Officer to oversee Nova Scotia’s oral health policies.
“Today’s committee was a good opportunity to further explore the implementation of a Chief Dental Officer with dental professionals,” said Adams. “With the creation of this position, we can properly develop plans for ongoing surveillance of oral diseases, promote appropriate oral healthcare, and work with partners to develop initiatives to strengthen the overall oral health in this province.
The Health Committee heard from members of the College of Dental Hygienists of Nova Scotia and Department of Health and Wellness about the status of children’s oral health.
During 2019’s Spring session of the Legislature, PC Health critic Karla MacFarlane introduced the Chief Dental Officer Act. The previous government planned to introduce a Chief Dental Officer, but the idea was axed by the McNeil Liberals.
According to Nova Scotia’s Open Data portal, the number of dental services rendered to children in 2018-2019 was nearly 100,000 less than in 2015-2016.
“Creating a provincial strategy to address oral health prevention starts with a Chief Dental Officer,” said Colton LeBlanc, who is the PC critic for preventive and pre-hospital care. “Establishing this position will allow the government to develop more effective policies surrounding oral health.”
The College of Dental Hygienists of Nova Scotia echoed the fact that a Chief Dental Officer would be beneficial for developing a provincial oral health strategy.