Children with cancer to get free dental and orthodontic work
The health minister says she is "righting a longstanding wrong" in the health care system.
As of April, the parents of children who have cancer will no longer have to pay for dental or orthodontic problems caused by chemotherapy and radiation.
The health minister says she was moved by the story of one 14-year-old boy, Jeremy Beaudoin of Longueuil.
He was the subject of a documentary that aired in December that outlined how chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause dental problems in children.
That documentary also explained how Quebec's health care system does not cover dental or orthodontic care for children who have problems as the result of cancer treatment.
About half of the 300 children diagnosed with cancer in Quebec each year end up with some oral problem and the cost to fix those problems is very high. In Jeremy's case, it's estimated it will cost $30,000 to $60,000 to reconstruct his mouth once he has finished growing.
His mother, Marie-Claude Hebert, has been lobbying for the province to cover the cost of dental and orthodontic work for young cancer patients.
Health Minister Danielle McCann said this was a hole in the health care system that the province needs to fix, and pointed out that it made no sense for car crash victims to get free dental work, but not cancer patients.
"We want to correct an injustice because children or young adults who had an accident, or even adults, that affected their mouth or their teeth, they get the coverage from the SAAQ if they have had an accident," said McCann.
McCann estimates it will cost $1.5 million per year to provide orthodontic care.