State-funded and run social programs are an important way that wealth is equitably distributed in our society. Public social programs are an essential social wage, assisting those who live on inadequate incomes to meet their basic needs. Through progressive taxation public spending takes a portion of the income of the middle and upper classes, and provides services equally to all.
The APH supports the expansion of public health care and all public services for the common good, such as childcare, education, and public transportation. To this end we engage in political campaigns led by and for the benefit of working class and marginalized communities. We adopt both a long-term and a short-term perspective, attempting to adopt winnable campaigns that build on leadership in our communities for the long-term struggle for social justice and health for all.
Popular education is the backbone of our work, and our campaigns are designed to be participatory, inclusive, and democratic.
Dental Care is a Human Right
As the under and un-insured in Canada, we have lived experience to demonstrate how those without adequate access to dental care suffer Working class people wait until there is trouble to access dental care, with the result that we’re more likely to suffer: loss of teeth, chronic infections, chronic pain and all its many complications, as well as an increased incidence of some chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. We also know first-hand that Poor oral and dental health impacts our: self-esteem and sense of self-worth, employment, access to education, nutrition and the pleasure of eating, emotional expression, communication and relationships, participation in community activities, quality of life, and our sense of human dignity.
Only 1 in 4 poor Canadians have any dental insurance
It is time to take action! It is not enough to fight the privatization of public health services, though this is a critical battle. We must also stand up and demand the expansion of public health services! Health, including dental care, is a human right. It is shameful that in a country with such wealth, 98% of the middle and upper classes have their natural teeth while 25% of the poor have no teeth at all.
The Alliance for People’s Health demands:
- Access to dental care determined by need and not by ability to pay!
- Structural issues undermining equality in oral health must be addressed!
- Include basic dental care services in our BC Medical Services Plan!
We believe a person’s smile should not depend on how much money they make!