EDMONTON, AB: As Albertans have seen the cost for dental procedures skyrocket to levels 20 to 30 per cent higher than other Canadian jurisdictions, now is the time for the NDP government to implement common sense solutions proposed by Wildrose to increase competitiveness in Alberta’s dental system and encourage lower prices, the Wildrose Official Opposition said Monday.
Wildrose Shadow Health Minister provided input to the dental fee review process in February , highlighting three key areas of reform that could be implemented immediately. They are:
- Posting of fees for common procedures online or at the dental clinic;
- A relaxing of strict limitations on advertising so dentists can advertise competitive pricing; and,
- Improving the governance structure of the Alberta Dental Association and College by separating it into two distinct entities – one for accreditation and one to protect the financial interests of member dentists.
“Albertans deserve to have a world class, competitive dental system that is responsive to the needs of everyday Albertans,” Barnes said. “The NDP government is dragging its feet by putting off developing solutions to improve the system and lower costs that can be prohibitively expensive. Wildrose will continue to be on the side of everyday Albertans, urging for change in our dental system.”
By introducing further price awareness and ability for competition in the dental market, the consumer will be best prepared to find cost effective options for dental work. Competition unleashes innovation, and would encourage dentists working the province to competitively price services while continuing to ensure a high standard of quality.
“I find it deeply concerning to hear stories of Albertans leaving the province to have routine and comprehensive dental work completed,” Barnes said. “This must be a signal for the Health Minister that the time to reform our dental system is now – we simply cannot afford to wait any longer.”