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New report highlights dental care needs of people with developmental disabilities in BC

Summary: 
A new report by lawyer Joan Rush, "Help! Teeth Hurt," outlines the government's responsibility to provide timely access to dental care for adults with developmental disabilities.

The report examines barriers to treatment, analyzes the legal rights of adults with developmental disabilities to receive dental treatment, and examines the history of provincial responsibility to provide such care. Further, the report describes the dental plan insuring BC adults with developmental disabilities in comparison with other Canadian provinces and looks at legal remedies available.

"Adults with developmental disabilities (DDs) in British Columbia face enormous barriers in accessing necessary dental treatment in a reasonable time. Those who have such fragile medical health that they require hospitalization for dental treatment are placed on wait-lists that are often longer than two years. Other adults with DDs who potentially could be treated in community dental clinics also are unable to access care because the provincial dental plan that insures them is so low that many dentists are unwilling to accept these adults as patients. In addition, many dentists feel unqualified to treat the complex dental needs of adults with DDs," writes Rush in the report. 

The report was funded by the Law Foundation of British Columbia.

Download the report in PDF form by clicking here.