The Green Party has today released a collection of stories showing exactly why dental care should be free in Aotearoa.
“We put the call out for people to tell us their stories. What we heard was dire, but not surprising. This is exactly why we have promised to make dental care free for everyone,” says Green Party health spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez March.
“The failure of successive governments to include dental care in the public health system has pushed some people to breaking point.
“No one should go broke just to fix their teeth. On Sunday, the Green Party announced a plan to make dental care free for everyone and to pay for it with a wealth tax.
“People should not be having teeth removed, filing down their teeth, or living in excruciating pain unable to sleep because they cannot afford dental care.
“They also shouldn’t have to drain their savings, take out loans, or open up credit cards to pay for treatment.
“These are real stories from over 500 submissions we received.
“Over 98% of people that submitted to us said they struggled to afford care. 61% said they went into debt, and another 72% said they’ve had to take time off school or work because of pain relating to untreated issues.
“None of this should be acceptable in a country as wealthy as ours. Gaps in accessing oral health care in Aotearoa are clear, and they are unfair.
“This pain doesn’t have to be a given. All it takes to change this is political willpower. The time is now,” says Ricardo Menendez March.