Two Surrey not-for-profit dental clinics part of $2.8 million funding over next 3 years – Surrey Now-Leader
Two not-for-profit dental clinics in Surrey are part of a three-year fundraising strategy to help ‘more low-income British Columbians receive much-needed dental care’.
Announced Wednesday, May 4, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction said the nonprofit clinics will receive $2.8 million in funding.
Surrey’s Lookout Dental Clinic and Pacific Oral Health Society are just two of 21 clinics across the province included in the announcement.
The Lookout Dental Clinic, located at 10697 135A St. in Whalley, is operated by Lookout Housing and Health Society. It offers a 20% fee reduction for cash payments and insured dental plans, and accepts “all dental plans and the MSP plan at no additional cost.”
According to Lookout, the clinic was opened in response to a 2008 study identifying low-income people “face significant barriers to accessing dental care, even when the person qualifies for income assistance.”
It operates on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Pacific Oral Health Society, located at 300-15850 24 Ave. in South Surrey, offers a 30% discount on fees. A notice of assessment is required for reduced fares.
According to POHS, at one time there was “only one dental clinic with a dental chair operating part-time (Peace Arch Volunteer Clinic in White Rock) to serve the needs of the people of Surrey, Delta and White Rock”.
The “dental claim was tested” on December 4, 2010 when Dr. Harinder Dhanju organized a small group of dentists and a dental team. More than 350 people showed up.
The ministry statement notes that in 2021, nonprofit clinics provided dental care to low-income people for free or at a reduced rate more than 47,000 times.
“Everyone should be able to go to the dentist and money should not be a barrier to accessing this care,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Having healthy teeth is a matter of confidence, dignity and general well-being. As we eagerly await details on how Ottawa will join us in providing this essential service, we are building a stronger province for all by ensuring that all British Columbians can put on their best smile.
Earlier this year, the federal government – part of a deal between the Liberals and the NDP – announced that it would launch a new dental program in 2022, starting with children under 12 for an initial cost of $300 million.
– With file from The Canadian Press