BCDHA commends fed commitment to expand student loan forgiveness
April 18, 2024
student loan forgiveness
The British Columbia Dental Hygienists’ Association (BCDHA) applauds the federal government’s decision to extend the Canada Student Loan Forgiveness Program to dental hygienists working in remote communities.

The move, which was announced by Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland as part of the federal budget package this week, would amend the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act and the Canada Student Loans Act to permanently expand the reach of the Canada Student Loan Forgiveness Program to dental hygienists who choose to work in rural and remote communities. It also encompasses other healthcare and social services professionals, signifying an important step towards equitable healthcare access.

“This initiative will help address the critical shortage of oral health professionals in rural and remote areas,” said Cherie Payne, the executive director of the BCDHA. “We’re pleased to see this commitment from the federal government and look forward to its positive impact on the communities we serve.”

The inclusion of dental hygienists in rural and remote communities in the expansion of the Canada Student Loan Forgiveness Program aligns with the Canadian Dental Care Plan’s (CDCP) goal of guaranteeing more Canadians receive the oral health care they need. The budget reaffirms the value of the CDCP and its funding, underscoring the essential role in providing crucial oral healthcare services to uninsured Canadians.

Both the BCDHA and the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association have been longstanding advocates for expanding the Canada Student Loan Forgiveness Program to include hygienists.

“The expansion of the Canada Student Loan Forgiveness Program will support dental hygienists in delivering critical oral health care to historically underserved rural and remote communities across Canada,” said Francine Trudeau, president of CDHA. “As experts in oral health education and prevention, dental hygienists understand the need for ensuring Canadians have timely and unencumbered access to preventive oral health care, no matter where they live.”

ABOUT THE BCDHA

The British Columbia Dental Hygienists’ Association advocates for the advancement of the dental hygiene profession and work to ensure the highest standards of care and patient safety. Through education, professional development, and policy advocacy, BCDHA supports its members in delivering exceptional oral healthcare to the communities they serve.