Regional Council received an update on the Region of Peel's Healthy Smiles Ontario Program. Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) is a 100 per cent Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) funded program that provides dental services and preventative care to children and youth from low-income families.
Since the program was launched in October 2010, Peel's HSO program has enrolled a total of 4,586 children. There are approximately 48,000 children living in Peel with a household adjusted income of $20,000 or less who are not receiving Ontario Works benefits and are therefore eligible for the HSO program.
Peel Public Health was successful in advocating for an additional $500,000 for the 2013 budget year which will provide oral care to an additional 1,200 children.
Effective April 2014, the financial eligibility threshold for the HSO program will be increased and the MOHLTC has also announced plans to integrate six Ministry-funded dental/oral health service programs for children and youth into a single program in August 2015.
The HSO program for children improves access to oral health prevention and treatment services for low-income families. Peel Public Health recommends continued advocacy efforts to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to ensure that program funding meets the dental health needs of children in Peel.
For more information about the Peel Healthy Smiles Program Ontario, please visit: http://www.peelregion.ca/health/dental-health/forms_hso.htm